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Developing a work resume and portfolio–A step by step guide



Developing a work resume and portfolio–A step by step guide
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Developing an effective work resume: Using an online free tool

In this article, I intend writing about how to write a resume for a fresher profile and an experience profile using a step to step approach, build its structure and demystify how one can use this in the business world as a competitive advantage.

When applying for a job opportunity, one very important dot an applicant needs to consider is building a good resume or portfolio from past work experiences, so that the employer knows whom he/she is employing and find reasons why he/she is the best fit for the job.

Most applicants down play the importance of developing a good resume or portfolio before applying for an opportunity, they rush to summit CVs and application letters which pretty much every other applicant does. So how then do you stand out from the competition?

One way is having a professionally developed resume or portfolio that relates your previous experiences to you supposed employer. Even if you have little or no job experience; this article is going to suggest to you how best to develop a resume or portfolio that is catchy enough to win you an interview.

What do interviewers look for in a resume?

It is less about what they look for and more about what they seek, here’s it; no matter what job you are applying for; there will be hundred if not thousands of people applying for the same job. With these many profiles the interviewer will hardly spend around six (6) seconds to inspect at your resume, it’s like being on, if your profile is not appealing at the first glance then you’ll be left right away because there are other profiles waiting to be reviewed which is why your resume should not be a long boring list, it should look like an advertisement; short, to the point and crispy.

Resume Structure

To help you understand resume structure better, I’m going to write one with you toward the end of this walkthrough and I’ll be utilizing

Here I’m just going to list the component of the resume structure.

Component of a Resume Structure

1. Name: This is your official name.

2. Professional Title: This is where you use words or a phrase that defines you professionally. Example; Web Designer, Mentor, Innovator, Writer, Quick Learner etc. You can add two or more professional title that particularly describes you. 

But make sure that you support whatever you have in your professional title throughout your resume.

3. Contact Information: Under contact information here’s a few things you can mention;

i. Email ID: If you must include email ID which offcourse is necessary, using a custom domain email ID as this; shows a bit of professionalism. But if you don’t have a domain name for which you own a mail account; use gmail, yahoo or any email provided but use your official name to create the account.

ii. Phone Number: You can add two or more phone numbers.

iii. Social Media Profile: Include a social media profile that is relevant to the position you are applying for, it could be a linkedin skype or facebook profile.
Things that you do not need to mention are; marital status, religious affiliation, date of birth or even you photo because all of these are unnecessary information and they may take up space.

4. Experience: Here you’d mention your current job first and then you’ll go back to mentioning previous jobs, in a reverse chronological order. So this is it;

i. Company Name – Job Role – Position

ii. And beneath this mention the time period you’ve held that position

iii. Under which you’d mention your responsibilities in a bullet point.

Remember this section is an opportunity to showcase how your experience is aligned to the position you are applying for.

If for instance you are applying for the role of a blog chain developer, it makes sense to mention that you have led a block chain research group in your previous company. Remember to sprinkle the keyword mentioned in the job description throughout your experience section, because that way the hiring manager will know that you have the experience that the team needs.

Always try to be specific about your achievements, suppose you are applying for a social media role, then don’t just mention “manage facebook page” instead you can write;

“Revamped a business page on facebook that has led to over 70,000 followers (up by 40% in two months)” and has led to a 4% increase in revenue.”

I believe you can see the difference. By adding numbers to your achievements, it gives the hiring manager confidence in your abilities. So try to add a number and try to quantify as many bullet points as possible.

5 Education: Now in case you’ve been working for sometime maybe 5-6years, then it is best to keep your education section short and sweet. Just mention the details of your last degree. 

A typical example;

University of Birmingham – Electrical Engineering (B.Eng)

August 2005 – April 2010

If you want, you could even include CGPA, awards, programs, and lots more as bullet point under the duration.

If you are a student you’d obviously add a lot more in the education section, we’ll come to that.

6. SKILLS: If you are looking for a software job, you can mention the technologies and languages that you know and rate them according to how well you know them. If you are not from the software field then you can mention your communication skills, critical thinking skills, Leadership skills, Social Media Skills, Project Management Skills.

Note Do not forget to mention the skill that was included in the job description.

7. ADDITIONAL SECTIONS: This is best time you brag about any award, certifications, publications, Patents, Volunteer Work, languages known, Extra Curricular Activities, Conferences or courses, and the hobbies that you have that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Just pick the best two sections and mention them.

Now before you export and send that resume to a hiring manager, there are few point to remember but before that let’s see how we can modify this profile to a Fresher Profile.

Now in case you are a fresher or applying for an entry level job, then the resume is pretty much the same except for three changes;

1. Education: if you are a fresher, mention your education before your experience, list down your Institution Name, and Degree and Time Period in reverse chronological order up to your 10 standard and do not forget to have a column for your current CGPA.



2. Experience: I know if you are a fresher, there are not many things you can write under the experience section but here are a few things you can write.

If you are an engineer, you may have done some mini project every semester. This is the perfect time to mention all of them.

i. Write the name of the project and in a few lines describe what the project was about and mention any internship you have done.

ii. Mention any paper you have done with your faculty.

ii. If you have done any part-time job, to sponsor yourself mention that.

All of this tells your hiring manager that you are committed and have developed a sense of professionalism early in your life.

3. Additional Section: In case you are a student there are lot of things you can mention under the additional section; the best being your competitive exam score you probably had while competing back then in school, in case you don’t have any of these, no problems; then you can mention a college fest that you have participated in, hackertoons, coding contest, paper presentations, you could even write about the initiatives you took while at college like taking care of your school website, newsletter or even maintaining your own blog.

So those were the key three differences between a fresher’s profile and an experienced person profile. But before you hit that export button, here are three important points to remember.

1-PAGE RULE: Keep your resume to one page maximum. If you have information that is relevant to the position you are applying for; then go ahead and add an extra page but if you are adding pages just for the sake of adding, and then your resume will suffer.

PROOFREAD: Always proofread and double check your resume. Nothing hurts your resume more than a grammatical error.

HONESTY: Never lie in your resume, if you don’t have the skill you might not get the job but if you lie, then you might not be called for any future job the company might have. Sometimes it is okay not to have the skills, most companies would be ready to train you. Honesty is a skill that no company is willing compromise on.

5. LIFE CARRIER DOCUMENT: Always maintain a life carrier document, whenever you do something like take part in a fest or organize a hackertoon or build a tool for your team, maintain a document and write it down. Most of the time we don’t know what to write on our resume because we forget we have done in the past, but if you get into the habit of noting everything; not only will it build your resume but also give you a list of things to talk about in your proposal for your next promotion.

Moving on, let create a resume using my favourite tool. I’m going to walk you through developing a resume by using an online tool

This does not require you having any design skills whatsoever, there are endless numbers of nice resumes and portfolio templates on canva for which you can customize and have them suit your style.Developing a work resume and portfolio–A step by step guide

So before advancing you may need to have an email account, sign up to canva using google, which would require you using your google mail account.

From here you’ll need to choose what you’ll be using canva for, I recommend you select Personal; this allows you make anything and everything, offcourse that is what we want.

Developing a work resume and portfolio–A step by step guide

Canva offers a free 30 days trial for their pro plan, you do not need it because you can create thousands of designs with their free plan. But if you want to go pro, you have no reasons not to. But for this walkthrough we going to utilize the free plan, click the maybe later to head on to your dashboard.Developing a work resume and portfolio–A step by step guideFrom your dashboard you have a lot of options to pick from, let’s quickly move to the navigation bar and select templates, so we can browse through the various template categories.

Developing a work resume and portfolio–A step by step guide

From the template page you have two options either to browse the template by category or using the search bar. You could just select the resume sub-category and this will provide you quite a number of resumes from which you can choose from and start editing.
Canva is so great that they even provide you an extra sub-category narrowing down to your industry type; I’ll select graphic design for my demo illustration.Developing a work resume and portfolio–A step by step guide

Getting to the editing page, they provide tips that can be quite useful to get started with editing your resume.
Spend time; fill in your contact information, specializations, education, experience and whatever you have the need to include, you want to make it unique, you’ve really got to spend time customizing it.

Once you are done you can download the image in various format could be an image format or pdf format. Now that is how you create a resume with, no design experience.

We have covered a lot of things from here, starting with what an interview wants from your resume and just like we said most hiring manager doesn’t spend more than a minute on your resume, not because they don’t want but because they are a hundred more or even a thousand more resume waiting to be review.

This is why your resume should be short, precise and straight to the point. We also presented with a resume structure for which you can get the best out of resume writing as a fresher or an experienced profiler. It became even more interesting when we walked you through building a resume with an online tool; canva.

If you are called for an interview, it would suggest that you are half way to getting the job, I believe building a resume and applying the few tips above, would get you that interview, go wow them.

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