Perfect Resume: How to Make a Great Resume in 6 Steps [Guide]

A perfect resume is one that will land you an interview by convincing the recruiter you’re perfect for the role. Don’t know how to write one? We do, and we’re about to show you.

Maciej Duszyński
Maciej Duszyński
Perfect Resume: How to Make a Great Resume in 6 Steps [Guide]

Resume studies say recruiters only spend 7 seconds looking at your resume.

 

In other words—

 

A couple of seconds of someone’s time may decide about your entire professional life.

 

That’s why your resume must be perfect.

 

The question is:

 

How to make one? And is it possible at all?

 

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • Why the perfect resume doesn’t really exist.
  • How to format your resume to make the most of it.
  • What sections a great resume should have, and how to write each.

 

Cut to the chase—

 

There’s no such thing as the perfect resume suitable for each and every occasion.

 

And the reason why is pretty obvious:

 

Each job and employer has a different set of requirements and expectations. You may be a perfect fit for a particular type of position but not for every employer, and vice versa.

 

That’s why your resume may turn out to be a perfect resume for one job offer, but not for the other. 

 

The only way to make sure your application is perfect for a particular position is to tailor your resume to the job description.

 

Each time you reply to a job offer.

 

So—

 

Even though the perfect resume doesn’t really exist, you can still make a perfect resume if you target it at a specific opening.

 

The following sections will show you how to do it right.

 

1. Choose the Best Format for Your Ideal Resume

 

There are three most popular resume formats:

 

Since we have a dedicated guide that tells you exactly how to choose the ideal resume format, let’s focus on the basics.

  • The chronological resume format focuses on your experience and achievements
  • The functional resume format highlights your skills.
  • The combination resume gives attention to both your skills and experience.

 

In the vast majority of cases, the chronological resume will be closest to the ideal resume format.

 

Why?

 

It’s very easy to scan, which is extremely important because recruiters will only spend about 7 seconds skimming your resume.

 

It puts your experience in the limelight, which is exactly what counts most for over 92% of recruiters when making hiring decisions.

 

And last but not least—

 

It’s sure to pass every ATS scan. And you should know that over 98% of Fortune 500 companies use the ATS to initially assess the candidates’ resumes.

 

But this is not everything:

 

To make sure your resume is easy on the recruiter’s eyes and friendly for machines, follow these formatting rules:

  • Set your margins to 1 inch on each side.
  • Choose the ideal fonts for your resume and make sure they stay within 10–14pt range.
  • Don’t cram your resume with everything you’ve ever done. Be selective and make good use of white space.
  • It would be great if you didn’t exceed a single page but if you have a lot of experience 2 pages are fine as well. In fact, our guide on ideal resume length has all the answers.

Expert Hint: Save your resume in PDF unless the job ad asks specifically for a DOC file format. PDF files work on every system and device.

2. Write a Perfect Resume Profile

 

The resume profile is a short paragraph that tops your resume and gives the reader a brief look into your professional life.

 

Your resume profile may take the form of a:

  • Resume summary—which focuses on your previous experience and achievements
  • Resume objective—which focuses on the skills you’ve learned

 

In our dedicated guides, you’ll find some great resume summary examples, as well as great resume objectives you can adapt for your resume.

Expert Hint: Write your resume summary or objective once you finish writing all the other sections. This way, it will be much easier to cherry-pick your best achievements.

3. Prepare an Excellent Resume Experience Section

 

Your experience is what gets you the job.

 

So treat this resume section with the care and attention it calls for.

 

Here’s how to get everything right:

 

Every resume guide we write shows you specifically how to tailor your resume to the requirements of a particular occupation.

 

4. Make a Perfect Resume Education Section

 

The education section on your resume is just as important as any other.

 

A perfect resume will only be perfect if all its parts are nothing short of extraordinary.

 

Our guide on how to put education on a resume will show you exactly how to make the most of whatever level of education you’ve completed.

 

5. Let Your Ideal Resume Show Off Your Exceptional Skills 

 

Writing a great resume requires skills and patience.

 

And although we can’t teach you patience, we can show you how to put your skills on a resume to good use:

  • First, make a master list of all your skills.
  • Then, go back to the job offer and tick off the skills your list and the job posting have in common.
  • These are exactly the skills you need to highlight on your resume.

 

How to do this specifically?

 

Our guide on how to put skills on a resume will show you, along with some great examples and lists you can use on your resume.

 

And if you want to be 100% sure you’ve done everything right, read our article on the best resume tips and tricks.

 

6. Add Extra Value by Adding Extra Sections

 

Making a perfect resume would be incomplete without including extra information.

 

Adding interests and hobbies to your resume, listing certifications on a resume, or adding professional references to your resume can earn you extra points and show the recruiters you’re a perfect cultural fit.

 

And one more thing—

 

There’s still something you can do to make your resume truly awesome.

 

Learn how to write a perfect cover letter that shows you’re the one who’ll get the job done better than any other candidate.

 

Key Points

 

Here’s all you need to know about making a perfect resume:

  • The perfect resume doesn’t exist. But you can make a perfect one.
  • A perfect resume should be tailored to a particular job offer.
  • Start with formatting your resume so it’s reader and ATS-friendly.
  • Make sure your resume has all the required sections.
  • Add several extra resume sections to boost your chances.
  • Write a stellar cover letter to stand out from the crowd.

 

Do you have any more questions about writing a perfect resume? Would you like to share your advice on how to write one? We’d love to hear from you! Give us a shout out in the comments below.

Rate my article
Average: 5 (2 votes)
Thank you for voting
Maciej Duszyński
Maciej Duszyński
Resume Expert at ResumeLab
Maciej Duszynski is a career advice writer and a resume expert at ResumeLab. With over 8 years of experience in recruitment, hiring, and training, Maciej shares insider HR knowledge to equip every job seeker with professional advice to nail the job hunt. His insights have been featured by Toggl and Sparkpeople, among others. Maciej has helped job candidates at all stages of their career paths, from interns to directors to C-suite members, to thrive in their job. His mission is to help you find the right opportunity and create a job application that gets you the career you deserve. Maciej holds a Master’s degree in English with a specialization in communication and education management.

Was it interesting? Here are similar articles