How to write a resume

by Strategic Outsourcing Limited January 14, 2022, 12:42 pm

How to write a resume

How to write a resume

Resumes, being the first contact an applicant will have with a prospective employer, is an attempt at a first impression, amidst a field of other applicants that are competing for the same job. Hence, it becomes the survival of the fittest; obviously, the most convincing resume gets the most traffic in job invites and interviews.

Job search is easier with a simple rule of thumb about how to write a good CV or resume especially in Nigeria with up to a 40% unemployment rate, See our previous blog on how to find a job. The only tool available at the first instance to accomplish this arduous task is the resume or CV. A good resume can pave the way for a dream career. There are a few distinctions between a resume and a CV. 

Why not take advantage of the list of available jobs by completing your profile on the SOL Find Jobs page.

Differences between a Resume and a CV

A resume is a word with a French origin and it means to “sum up”. It is a short concise document that provides recruiters with a brief overview of a potential employee’s professional experience, educational background, and skills. A good resume is usually targeted towards a specific job and at most 2 pages long. The following are contents of a resume are; contact Information, work experience section, education, resume objective, skills, additional Sections (Awards, courses, certificates, publications, interests) etc.

A Curriculum vitae (CV) is a longer document that details the whole course of an individual’s career. It has no length limit, and it is majorly used for academic purposes. The following are contents of a CV; Contact information, research objective, personal profile, personal statement, education section, awards and honours, peer-reviewed publications, grants, and fellowship, conferences, research experience, membership, languages and skills, references, e.t.c.

The job description provides a clue into which is more relevant to the job. The resume to be submitted for a teaching job in the education sector is different from the type for Research positions. 

The “DON’Ts” of A Resume;

  • Do not copy resume objectives from a blog or the internet. Rather create such that aligns with the position being applied for.
  • Do not use ambiguous terms and languages.
  • Do not mislead employers about your GPA, skills, or abilities.
  • Do not include long, generic objective statements. Employers would not read them!
  • Do not create a false impression by stating work experiences you never had.
  • Do not submit references on the same page as your resume. They should be kept in a separate document and provided when the employer asks for them.
  • Do not go over two pages. Most graduate candidates should have a one-page resume, but this will depend on the amount of experience you have.
  • Do not put all your eggs in one basket. Apply to multiple positions that match your career interests.
  • Do not put hobbies that do not compliment the job vacancy. E.g. An English language teacher applicant can have the hobbies of reading, writing stories, poems, creating movie scripts, etc.
  • Do not submit a resume you have not read.
  • Do not present a resume that contradicts your true self in an attempt to impress potential employers.
  • Do not use photos on your resume. Unless the job description specifically asks for them. You are looking for a job, not a date! 

Do’s of a Resume

  • Determine your job search objective before writing the resume and tailor your resume for the position.
  • Customize your resume to match a specific job description. Use buzzwords from the industry.
  • Focus on positive results and accomplishments.
  • Keep a consistent, easily-readable format.
  • Create strong, action-oriented statements about your work.
  • Put the most important bullet points first.
  • Within each section, you must list experiences in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent.
  • Qualify and quantify your experiences whenever possible. Include numbers and percentages when possible.
  • Highlight specific accomplishments rather than expand on every detail.
  • Expand on professional, volunteer, research, and classroom experiences to show transferable skills.
  • Proofread your work. Ask the Career Center, friends, and advisors for help.
  • Referees should be people of repute and those that are easily accessible.

The Format of A Resume

  • Set one-inch margins on all four sides.
  • Pick an 11 or 12pt resume font and stick to it.
  •  Create a proper resume header format for your contact details.
  • Divide your resume into legible resume sections: Contact Information, Resume Summary, Work Experience, Education, Skills.
  • Use bullet points to talk about past jobs.
  • Be consistent with your resume formatting (stick to the same date format: for example, 11–2018, or November 2018.)
  • Use single or 1.15 line spacing.
  • Add an extra space before and after each section heading.
  • Make your resume as long as it needs to be.


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Want to get a job fast? Why not take advantage of the list of available jobs by completing your profile on the SOL Find Jobs page.

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