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Writing resume – tutorial + pro tips

How do you start building a resume? What is important and what should you pay attention to? Need help writing a resume? No problem, we’ll show you what to look out for.

Basics: things to know about the resume

The resume. Isn’t it actually completely outdated? Not quite. The resume is still the Heart and a very important part of your application. You should always keep in mind that your resume should quickly get to the heart of your career.

Recruiters usually don’t have a lot of time and want to see your qualifications and skills directly at a glance – and that’s what your resume is for. Your resume should ALWAYS stand out with a good structure, a perfect overview and a correct layout.

In addition, your qualifications and skills should match the advertised position. This includes your education, studies, knowledge, experience and achievements. In addition, your resume should not more than two A4 pages long be, at best you manage to place your career on one page.

If you put some effort and time into your first resume right away, you’ll actually only have to put it together once in your entire working life. Sure, different things change over time, of course, but new work experience or skills can be updated quickly.

Your resume should always be up-to-date and leave a good impression. Because your resume shows what you’ve accomplished and highlights your qualifications. In fact, recruiters usually read the resume first, even though the cover letter is the first page of your application.

Curriculum vitae content

The tabular resume has long been accepted among job applications. This is because it is clearly structured and can therefore be quickly assessed by the recruiter. There are so-called mandatory information that should be included in your resume in any case:

Personal data
Professional experience (without gaps)
Your education or studies (highest degree)
Special knowledge (preferably relevant to the position)
Place, date and signature

Voluntary data are:

Marital status
Your denomination
Experience abroad
Foreign languages
Certificates and awards
Interests and hobbies

Headline and name

Your tabular resume should always have a heading, which should usually simply be “Resume.” In the same way you should name the document as a PDF file. Another option is also to title your resume “Resume First Name Last Name”.

Personal data

Contact information belongs on every resume and should always be listed at the top. This includes your address, street, postal code and city. Also, your phone number, email address, date of birth, and place of birth should be added. This information is usually mandatory.

Your marital status, your nationality, an application photo and your religious denomination, on the other hand, are voluntary details which may make sense depending on the type of application.

Training, studies or other qualifications

Next, list your studies and school career , and add your education, if any. For your studies, add the focus of your studies and the topic of your thesis . To do this, proceed anti-chronologically.

So start with what you’re doing right now. Try to be as precise and compact as possible in stating your career to date. The time should be on the left, your information on the right. Also include possible scholarships here, as well as your grades, your thesis, and if you had a break longer than three months, you can also include the reason here, such as a year abroad, FSJ, etc.

Internships and other professional experience

Here you can list all the professional experience you have gained so far. This includes all internships, FSJ, federal voluntary service and student traineeships. Again, you should work anti-chronologically so that the recruiter can directly see what your last job was. Also important here is to work accurately and specify the activities to the month.

Skills, competencies and special expertise

Under this item you can list all your learned soft skills and special skills. This includes any experience gained abroad, knowledge of foreign languages, mastery of certain computer programs, and any continuing education and training completed.

Personal interests and hobbies

Recruiters will be particularly impressed if you have already shown social commitment outside of your studies or school years. It’s also good if you can list personal interests here that fit the job. Extreme sports are best left out.

Place, date and signature

Include the location, date, and signature IN HANDWRITTEN on your tabular resume. Because the signature confirms the accuracy and truth of your information. Again, the date is important because it signals timeliness.

Resume formatting – tips on how to make it look professional

There is a certain pattern that most applicants follow that will give you clues on how to format your resume. You can stick to this – but you don’t have to.

Top margin: 4.5 centimeters (without header)
Page margin bottom: 2.5 centimeters
Left margin: 2.5 centimeters
Right margin: 2 centimeters

What font should I use on my resume?

The font color should be black. You can also use color in your resume, for example, in the headings or with a subtle page design. Whether and how to incorporate color accents and highlighting into your resume is best done depending on the type of company.

When writing a resume for a more creative field, feel free to try your hand. Place the individual text blocks evenly and make sure that the spacing is the same everywhere.

You can’t go wrong with the Times New Roman font. For a long time, this font was considered the standard in job applications. You can also use other subtle fonts like Calibri, Garamond or Helvetica.

In the end, the decision is up to you. However, you should still pay attention to a certain professionalism.

The font size in the text should be between 10 and 12 point, for headings
14-16 point. In addition, a line spacing of 1.5 should be maintained.
You can also stick to the 11-13-15 rule for font sizes.

However, your resume should naturally stand out from the rest of the applicants, so it’s good to give it a personal touch. Just search the internet for creative resume templates, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. You can also highlight all headings in bold.

Writing a resume: What do I need to pay attention to?

Basically, you should always make sure that your resume matches your overall application so that the overall impression is right.

The basic rule is: as few details as possible, but as many as necessary. A perfect resume should be convincing in its structure as well as with its content and visual emphasis.

Important aspects to look for in your resume are:

Correct spelling and grammar (double-check).
The layout of your resume should be structured, legible and complete.
Make sure there are no gaps in your resume – in case there are gaps, you should be able to justify them.
Your resume should not contradict any references or information in your cover letter.
Your written signature must not be missing (if you apply online, you can scan your signature).
When it comes to your hobbies, think carefully about which ones you list.

Frequently asked questions

Edited at: December 7, 2022

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