8 Tips for Writing a Winning Resume

- So you're applying for a job.

Everything right now is going great.

You've entered your name in the first field

and you've even spelled it correctly,

but then you come to the next part,

which says please upload your resume.

Oh no, I don't even have a resume, you think.

And what's worse, you don't even know how

to properly write one.

Fortunately, at some point your future self

traveled back to the past and uploaded an entire video

about how to write a resume full of amazing tips

and tricks that are nearly guaranteed

to help you land that job.

This is that video.

Thanks, time travel.

So in this video, I'm gonna be sharing some useful

tips that you can use to craft a great resume,

and along the way, we're going to establish the five

maybe six, depending on who you are,

sections that should be on that resume.

Before we go on, though,

I do want to mention something important.

There is no best way to craft a resume.

Go online looking for resume tips and you're

gonna find 18 billion differing opinions,

all from so-called resume experts.


Well, think about the purpose of a resume.

A resume is a brief summary of your skills,

your achievements, and your experience,

and how those relate to the specific job

or company that you're applying to,

and the job of that resume is to get your posterior

into the chair across the desk from a hiring manager

so you can explain in further detail

why you're the best person to hire.

So your resume is essentially an advertisement,

and as I'm sure you're well aware,

advertisements come in all sorts of different forms,

there's no one perfect way to craft an advertisement

that will work every single time.

So keep in mind you're crafting an advertisement,

there are definitely general best practices

that you should follow, but nothing so specific

as never have an objective statement

or always hae an objective statement is going

to apply in every single case,

and this means that there is no one way

to craft a perfect resume.

There's no perfect resume template.

All you can do is seek to make yours great,

and to the end, let's get into the tips and sections

that you should have on yours.

All right, first and most importantly,

you're gonna wanna have a section that lists your

favorite anime, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

and Space Dandy are great picks,

but if you have Naruto as number one,

you're probably dead in the water.

Wait, I read that wrong, actually first section is

gonna be your name and contact information.

That actually makes more sense.

So obviously this section should

include your name, and if you're submitting this resume

directly to a company, it should also

include your phone number in case they want

to call you directly for an interview,

though I will note that if you're going

to be posting your resume online somewhere publicly

like on a personal website, I would leave the phone number

off just so you don't get spammed.

In addition to all those basics, you should also

include a website and portfolio if you can.

I think this is really really important.

So believe it or not, I've been running my company

for almost 10 years at this point,

and I have hired several people during that time,

and every single time I've set up to hire somebody,

the thing I'm most interested to see on applications

is examples of completed work,

and I am not alone in this desire,

so use the rest of the tips that we're gonna go

through in just a second to craft your resume

and make it shine as best as it can,

but also give the hiring manager an option

to go look at a portfolio or some examples

of the work that you've done if they so choose.

That brings us to the next section on your resume,

which I believe should usually be your work experience.

And the first thing that I have to say about this section is

that you should be putting your most relevant experience

first given the job that you're applying for,

which means that you should be tailoring your resume

to every single position you apply for.

Yeah, it's more work, but it is worth it.

Now for the people out there who already have established

careers, and who aren't jumping into a completely

new industry, reverse chronological order usually

achieves this, but this tip is very relevant

for students and for new grads,

because you often have great summer experience,

great internships, things like that,

but then you have to make ends meat during the semester,

and you flipped burgers and mowed lawns,

but if you're applying for a great job

at a tech company, and you had a great tech internship

last summer and then afterwards mowed lawns just

to make some extra pocket money,

you don't want to put the lawn mowing first,

because if I'm a tech recruiter, I'm looking

at your resume and the first thing I see

is lawn mowing experience, I'm probably gonna move

on to the next resume, I'm not gonna look down

further and see that you have great experience

on your second item that's listed.

The most important thing you can understand

about your resume, other than the fact

that it is an advertisement,

is that recruiters don't have a whole lot of time

to look at it, you might put a lot of time into it,

you might put all your work into crafting it

and making it the best that you can,

but when it gets to a recruiter's desk,

it's probably in a stack of hundreds of others,

and according to an article put up

by the ladders.com a few years ago,

the average resume only gets six seconds of attention

before the recruiter makes a fit or no fit decision.

So you want to make those six seconds count.

All right, on to the next main tip.

When you're listing out your job descriptions,

highlight achievements rather than duties,

and if you can, back up those achievements with numbers.

The reality of the situation is that hiring managers

are not that interested in what your duties were

at your last job, what you were expected to do.

They're a lot more interested in what you actually

accomplished, especially if there are specifics involved.

So for example, listing something like organized

an introductory program attended by 3,500 incoming freshman

and helped book four professional speakers

and workshop leaders, works a lot better than just

responsible for organizing

introductory program for new freshman.

And I will say for this tip in particular, you may want

to into the description down below

after watching the rest of the video,

because I'll be linking to my own resume

which has some great examples of using specifics

and numbers in that work experience section.

But of course, there is one elephant in the room

for many of you, which is the question,

what if I don't have any experience?

Well, this is known as the experience paradox.

Many jobs needs you to have experience

before they'll hire you, but to get experience you need

to have a job, right?

Now, while the experience paradox is difficult

to overcome, it is not impossible to overcome,

and one thing I want to note here before I talk

about my main tip related to it,

is that a lot of companies offer internships,

and when a company builds an internship program,

they're often looking for promising candidates

that show a lot of potential, but maybe who don't have

a whole lot of industry experience,

so if that what you're lacking,

then show some other qualities

and you may get hired in those kinds of positions,

but here's my main tip.

For many, many fields out there,

nobody has to give you permission for you

to go and do work that's worth showing off on a resume.

Want to become a web developer?

Well, then spend a few weeks learning how

to build a website or a web app I your own time,

build it, post it on the internet,

and list that on your resume as work experience.

My friend Martin actually started working

with me as a web developer and I hired him

because he had build a blog in his spare time

and I knew that he knew word press design, PHP, CSS,

all the skills that I was looking for

in a web developer when I needed my website rebuilt.

That one is easy, though, right?

What if you want to compose film scores?

Well, get yourself a copy of Reaper,

find some cheap or free virtual instruments

and go rescore public domain movies

that you can get on archive.org

or ask a friend who's a videographer if you can

score their work, post it online,

use that to get bigger and bigger gigs.

And what if you want to be a doctor?

All right, admittedly that is a tough one,

and I'm not gonna sit here and pretend

that you can get resume experience

in literally any profession just by tinkering

on a computer in your bedroom,

because, well, you can't.

Some professions out there are just ore gate-kept

than others, and many require experience

with equipment that you just cannot get on your own.

But there are still things that you can do to stand out.

For example, my friend Ryan, back when he was a pre-med,

volunteered for an organization

called Doctors Without Walls.

And due to his experience with that organization,

he was able to put together a really really impressive

med school application, which got him accepted

into several schools, even though his grades

as a pre-med weren't as good as some of his peers.

All right, let's move on to the education section,

which on my resume actually comes

after my work experience section,

so I guess the first tip I want to talk

about here is how to strategically

place your education section, so if you are in college

or if you just got out of college

it may make sense to put your education section

before your work experience, especially if you're trying

to get into a more established field

with bigger and older companies who may still

put a lot of value on the school you went to

and your academic achievements,

but as a general rule, solid, impressive experience is

gonna matter to most companies more

than the school that you attended,

especially for newer companies

and companies in fields like design and technology,

so as your experience gets more and more impressive

as you accumulate more of it,

think about highlighting that before your education.

That just leaves us with the question of GPA

or grade point average.

Do you include it on your resume or do you leave it off?

Well, here's what I was told when I was in college.

If your GPA is a 3.2 or above, put that on your resume

right alongside your degree in your school.

If not, leave it off.

And the reason that I'm including this in the video is

that I generally agree with this logic, and here's why.

Your resume's job is to get your foot in the door,

just like your Tinder profile's job is

to get you a date, right?

So in general, you're not gonna go advertising your flaws

front and center on your Tinder profile,

unless you can find a way to do it

that's endearing and funny, and even then,

that doesn't apply as much to the job market

as it does to dating, but, once you're dating somebody,

they're naturally going to learn about your flaws,

and if those flaws are outweighed by the good stuff,

then they're probably gonna stay with you,

and it's the same with the job market.

Once you get into that office and have an interview,

you get a chance to explain why your GPA might

not be as high as you'd like it to be.

Maybe your skills and experience outweigh it

and you realize that putting more effort

into other projects was more beneficial

than trying to get perfect grades.

But again, your resume only gives a few seconds

of attention, so you don't want to lead with things

that are going to throw up red flags.

Speaking of red flags, let's talk about the skill section.

First and foremost, do you even need

to have a skills section on your resume?

Well, the answer is it depends on who you are.

So typically it's useful to have a skills section

if you have specific certifications or skills

that the job is going to be looking for.

So if you have a SISCO networking certification,

a CCNA, or you're really proficient in Adobe After Effects

or CAD or you know how to code and know .JS,

it can be really useful to put those things

in a specific skills section.

This is especially useful, since many bigger companies

these days use what are called applicant tracking systems

or ATS systems, actually no that doesn't work,

that's like ATM machine, that's kind of redundant.

Anyway, ATSs basically scan resumes for specific, key terms

that the company's looking for so they can cut down

on the number of resumes an actual human

being has to look at.

So if you're applying to a company that you know is looking

for a specific skill, you want to make sure that skill is

listed on your resume, provided you're actually proficient

in it, otherwise your resume might get tossed

in the bin before anyone looks at it.

All that being said, don't include a skill section

on your resume if all you're going to include is something

like Microsoft office as a general term.

And more importantly, do not list soft skill terms.

Don't put hard worker, don't put good communicator

on your resume, do not let me catch you putting these things

because the laziest person in the world

can write hard worker on their resume,

and because of that, for many recruiters, it's a red flag.

Why are you putting down hard worker instead

of listing experience that proves your work ethic?

Bottom line, if you have specific skills,

if you have specific certifications

that you know they're looking for, definitely include

a skills section or at least make sure they're listed

in your work experience section,

otherwise a skills section is probably not needed,

but what you do need are the last two sections

that we are going to talk about today:

extracurriculars and awards.

These sections can bolster the work experience

on your resume by showing the clubs

and organizations that you're a part of

by listing any leadership positions you have taken

in those clubs, which you should definitely list

and by listing any awards, honors, scholarships,

anything like that that you've won as well.

These sections are essentially a non-pathetic way

of writing hard worker on your resume.

They might not convey specific skills,

but they do convey other traits

that recruiters are definitely looking for,

a hard work ethic, the ability to adapt and change,

the ability to work independently,

and your likelihood to step into leadership roles,

so absolutely make sure that you have these two sections

on your resume as well.

Of course, crafting your resume is just the first step

to landing the job that you want,

and alone, it is not a very strong tool for that purpose.

It needs to work in tandem

with a well-tailored personal brand,

a mix of online and offline platforms

and methods of communicating and help you

to show off your skills and establish your expertise

in your industry, and this includes things

like a personal website with a portfolio

and your social media platforms,

but also the way that you introduce yourself

and the way that you engage and seek out others.

And if you want a good guide on how

to start building that brand,

I'm gonna recommend Hamza Khan's personal

branding course on Skillshare.

His course is short and won't take up too much

of your time, but it's also pretty comprehensive,

and it covers all the important bases

including the preliminary work of figuring out how

to tell your story and present yourself,

along with the specifics of channel selection,

building a website, and more.

And getting access to that course means you'll

also have unlimited access to the more than 28000

other courses that are also on Skillshare,

and that can boost your skills in web development,

digital animation, graphic design, audio production,

and lots, lots more.

Membership on Skillshare is super affordable,

starting at less than 10 bucks a month,

plus once you have that membership,

you can go over tot he popular courses

of the business section where you'll find my course

on productivity skills as well,

and if you want to try out Skillshare for free,

you can actually get a free, two-month,

unlimited trial by being one of the first 500 people

to click the link in the description down below and sign up.

Big thanks as always goes out to Skillshare

for sponsoring this video and supporting my channel

and as always, thank you guys for watching as well.

If you enjoyed this video, definitely hit that like button,

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Also I'm gonna need you to come in on Sunday.

We've had to let a few people go recently,

and we're gonna have to play catch up,

so if you could be here around,

oh, nine AM, that'd be great.