How Long Does It Take to Make a Professional Looking Resume?
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“Rome wasn’t built in a day!” Some of you might be familiar with the phrase, as it’s an adage representing that great things take time and effort to build. You can say the same for your resume. Why do we say it’s great, you ask? Think about it! It’s the first step you take for procuring that dream job. Or if you’re new, it’s the first thing that signals the kickstart of your professional career. You can’t expect to compete in the fiercely competitive job market without one.
Resume writing may sound simple, but it’s a bit more complicated than you might think. You don’t just cram everything you learned onto a page and send it; it requires time and effort to create the perfect professional resume. If you’re wondering how long it takes to make a resume, you’re in luck. We will go through the reasons as to how much time you should take to make a professional looking resume. We’ll go through the structure the resume needs to follow while also covering the format aspect of the resume.
In addition, the blog will also discuss some common first-time mistakes you should avoid and how professional resume service providers can assist in your writing journey. So, stick around to learn the best ways to invest time to make a great resume.
Creating a Professional Looking Resume: Time Frame
Now, generally, a resume isn’t something that epic that it takes years and months to craft. If you sit down and give the resume writing project your complete attention, you’ll end up with an attention-grabbing resume in mere hours.
Think of it as a seedling you plant for your professional career. The more you care, the sweeter the fruit it will bear. But the opposite is true as well. If you ignore or do not give the project much attention, you’ll have a resume that spreads misinformation.
The time for resume-making also depends on where you stand in your professional journey. The time limit can differ for an entry-level rookie compared to a seasoned professional. Let’s take a look at how they’re different:
Entry Level Resume
If you’ve just graduated from high school or college and are fresh in the job market, your resume would look different compared to a seasoned professional. This could be due to the fact that you might not have the work experience and skills that an industry professional would possess.
Now, if you’re wondering how long it would take to make an entry-level resume, it takes less time to create. It’s because you have to put fewer things in a resume than an industry professional resume.
If you’re in the service industry and earned the title of professional, then making a resume now would be a completely different ordeal than when you made it for the first time. It’s because as you went along with your professional career, you might have worked under different employers and learned several skills down the road. With more skills and experience in your portfolio, you would find it challenging to pen it down into the resume. So, you might have to invest extra hours to get everything to fit on your resume and make it stand out.
What Does a Professional Resume Need to Include?
Although a resume may appear different depending on your years of experience in the industry, all professionally written resumes follow the same structure. If you’re planning on writing a professional-looking resume, here’s where you need to invest your time:
1. Resume Header
It’s the first section that you put on the resume. It is where you list your name, professional title (optional), and contact information on your resume. The section helps the recruiter to contact you if they find you suitable for the position. Your contact information should include your cell phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile URL (Optional).
2. Professional Summary or Resume Objective
Although the resume header is the first section, the professional summary or objective is what introduces you to the recruiter. Both refer to a brief statement that offers an overview of who you are, what you do, and what you bring to the table. You could say this is the most crucial section of the resume, as it helps the recruiter decide to go over your resume or reject it. So, while writing, give it time so you can craft an engaging overview.
A professional summary and resume objective have one key difference. The latter focuses on your future goals, while the former looks back at your career to present you as the best fit for the job. The resume summary, although crucial, is quite brief, around 3-4 sentences long. Make sure to present your experiences and skills in either section you make.
Here’s an example of both for a resume made for a marketing executive position in some company:
To secure a marketing executive position in your esteemed media company, to put forward the campaign creation skills learned during the time spent in University. Planning on implementing strategies learned over the years for the company’s growth.
Digital Marketer with over 7 years of experience in the media field. Spearheaded over 150+ digital campaigns using quality leadership skills to improve traffic and generate leads to clients’ websites. Fully dedicated to the position and willing to work overtime and weekends.
3. Work Experience
The next section you will work on after the resume summary is the work experience. Think of it as the main essence of your resume. Recruiters take the most time looking at the candidates’ experience to decide whether they should call in the applicant for an interview or not.
The work experience section highlights your past jobs, duties, and achievements. For making the section, you need to make individual entries for each past job position you had. In each entry, you’ll list your employer name, the date and years you were employed there, your position, and 3-4 bullet points indicating your achievements.
As seasoned professionals would have years of experience working with several employers, they should focus on recent and relevant job positions they had. On the other hand, entry-level applicants should discuss any internships, volunteer, or part-time work in their resume, as they might not have much experience. Although they may seem irrelevant, you can use them to talk about the transferable skills they offer.
4. Educational Background
You can’t complete a resume without highlighting your educational qualifications. This section is quite simple to make. You just need to document your educational history so the recruiter can get an idea of what you studied and what subject you completed your major in.
For each entry you put in this section, ensure to mention the institute name, followed by the degree you received and the year you graduated. Also, include your major subject. In addition, if you have a GPA above 3 or the employer asks you to mention it, talk about it; otherwise, don’t.
If you’re wondering how to end your resume, the skills section is your answer. Apart from work experience, the employer also looks for specific hard and soft skills from the candidate. If you possess them, you must list them in the skills section of your professional resume. The skills section is also a pretty easy section to work on. You only need to highlight the high-value skills that you possess and that employers look for.
First, to learn what skills to put here, give the job advert a thorough read and research the skills that the position requires. Next, list those skills separately. Follow it by writing the skills you possess in a different column. Check what skills match. List the matched ones in the skill section.
Taking a Look at Formatting
Apart from the resume structure, formatting is another crucial aspect to consider in making a professional-looking resume. To help you learn more about formatting, we’ve answered some common questions found on the internet about resume format.
1. How Many Pages Should Your Resume Be?
A professionally written resume is a document that only highlights your past experiences and skills to the recruiter. Its mission is to give the employer an overview of who you are as an employee, so the document should be brief to ensure it’s readable and convenient for the recruiter.
Keep it around the ideal resume length, which is a single page. However, if it seems impossible to cover everything in a single page, then go for a two-page resume, but not more than that. If listing information in the resume is challenging, consider omitting some bullet points from the work experience section to make extra space.
2. What Font Should You Use?
Your resume should be readable. And we’re not talking about using simple language or anything like that, but rather, the recruiter should have no problem reading the resume. And for that, font style and size truly matter.
A lot of people don’t give any thought to resume font, while some invest in it so much that they go for ridiculous fonts to make their resume stand out. Remember that a professional resume is, first and foremost, a formal document, so you can’t use any informal font styles. If you’re wondering what styles are acceptable on a resume? Then, know you’ll never go wrong with Serif or Sans Serif font types.
Furthermore, keep the font to an acceptable size that is easy on the eyes while not compromising your resume space. Your resume font size should be around 10-11 pts.
3. What Format Should It Follow?
The next section of your resume should list the work experience you gained over the experience. Even if you don’t know how to write an engineering resume, you must be aware that work experience is the thing that the recruiter looks at if they approve your summary.
To make an engineering resume work experience section, you should use the reverse chronological format to include each entry of where you were employed in the past. Each entry should include the organization name, employment title, date, years of employment, and the achievements you had.
Common Mistakes to Avoid While Making a Professional Resume
By understanding the resume structure and format, you’ll create a professional-looking resume quickly. But before you begin drafting it, let’s take a quick look at some common mistakes you should avoid:
1. Not Tailoring to the Job
A resume isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s made specifically for the employer. And as every employer has different needs, so should your resume as well. You’re mistaken if you go for cookie-cutter solutions and share the same resume with multiple employers to boost your chances of getting an interview.
They might have specific requirements to include in your resume or need specific skills. If you truly want multiple employers calling in for an interview, then be sure to check what the employer is looking for. And craft or edit your resume accordingly. If you find it challenging, consider consulting professional resume service providers.
2. Using a Spammy-Looking Email Address
Your resume is the first impression you give to the recruiter. And you don’t want to just give a good first impression, but a great one instead. And for that, you need to ensure everything is proper in the formal document from start to end, even the contact info.
You should ensure that your email address is proper and easy to read. Ensure it isn’t spammy-looking like firstname.lastname@example.org. These kinds of emails can offset the employee’s decision as they present you as non-serious. If you have emails like these, then consider not using them. Instead, create a formal email account for work purposes. It’s best that you use your name as the email address.
3. Not Updating Your Resume
Now that you’ve made your resume, you don’t have to make another one until you retire. Obviously, that’s a false statement. A resume is a document that shows your progress over the years. With every employer you work for, the resume helps you record it.
But you’ll be disadvantaged in the job competition if you fail to update your resume. Recruiters can easily spot old resumes and reject them. So, to improve your chances, regularly update your resume.
4. Not Proofreading It Carefully
After you cover all the resume bases, you can send it straight to the employer. Right? Unfortunately, No. Your professional-looking resume might still have some spelling typos and syntax errors that need fixing. And the best way to spot them is through some good old proofreading.
When you’re done with your resume, give it a thorough read after a short while to spot and fix any errors you find. If possible, have someone else you trust proofread it for you to find errors you might have missed.
How Professional Resume Service Providers Help?
Although you can make one yourself, crafting a professional resume that makes you stand out requires hours of patience and concentration. Unfortunately, most often don’t find the time to create one, as they live in a fast-paced world. In these cases, their best bet is to partner with professional resume service providers. Here’s how these services help:
1. More Experience
As they’ve been in the resume writing business longer than anyone else, they have far more experience crafting compelling resumes that a recruiter would surely read. They have extensive knowledge of trends and what recruiters are looking for. With their help, you’ll be sure to craft a perfect resume.
2. Make it ATS-Friendly
The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) assesses your resume before it reaches the recruiter. ATS is application software that scans your resume to evaluate whether it’s worth showing to the recruiter. It works by scanning your resume for specific keywords and phrases; if it finds relevant keywords, it sends it to the recruiter. Otherwise, it rejects the resume. Professional resume experts know everything about the ATS. Through extensive research and writing skills, they can craft an ATS-friendly resume that will surely reach the recruiter.
3. Saves you the Hassle
As we live a fast-paced lifestyle, who’s got the time to spend hours crafting a resume? By handing it over to the best resume writers, you can save yourself from the hassle of creating it yourself. In addition, it helps save time, which you can use for preparing for the interview.
In conclusion, although a resume doesn’t take long to create, it requires complete focus and concentration. While writing a professional resume, ensure that you invest your time in writing the different resume sections. In addition, ensure that your resume appears neat and readable using the correct format. Use the tips above to avoid making beginner mistakes, and if you find the whole resume writing ordeal challenging, hire a professional resume service provider to help you craft a professional-looking resume.
The time for completion of a professional resume can vary based on your experience. If you’re working on an entry-level resume, you might complete it in a couple of hours, while you might have to spend more time constructing a resume for a seasoned professional.
Several factors can influence the time duration to complete the resume. This includes the work experience you amassed over the years and the level of customization required for the job application. You might have to spend hours on extensive research to tailor your resume to the specific job application.
Both elements are crucial for making a resume. First, take the time to work on the content and structure of your resume. Ensure that each section is comprehensive and identifies your strong points. After you’re done, work on formatting, such as ensuring the resume is no more than two pages, and use an acceptable font type with a readable font size. Make sure to proofread your resume once you’re done to remove any typos or spelling errors.
A professional resume service provider has far more experience and knowledge for drafting the perfect resume. They have better skills in conducting extensive research on the company and tailoring the resume according to the job positions you’re applying for. With their help, you will surely get a resume that stands out from the rest.