Tips For Writing A Resume

This is an old post that I managed to recover through an archive. It was originally written in my local language but translated into English to reach a wider audience. I know that some people believe it’s much better to write our own resume instead of copying someone else’s.

There are only three simple points to writing a better resume:

1. Keep it simple.
2. Make it as relevant as possible.
3. Include an awesome profile picture.

That’s it. You don’t need to fill it with useless information just to make it as long as possible. Not only does this show that you don’t know what you’re doing, but it also minimizes your potential from the beginning. While we don’t like the idea of judging a book by its cover, the reality is that people do judge based on appearances. We can’t blame them.

On average, hiring managers review each applicant’s resume in less than 10 seconds. That’s all the time they have, given the thousands of resumes they need to process. And let’s not forget that their mood can also influence their judgment. After all, they’re human. So now you understand why you need to simplify the information you want to include. This way, they can quickly find the right points and, more importantly, identify the right candidates to hire.

Keeping your resume simple is actually harder than you think. It requires you to be concise and informative. Deciding what not to include is just as important as deciding what to include.

Let me explain each element that is considered common or a must-have in a resume. It won’t be much, but I hope it gives you an idea to customize it to your own needs.

Profile Picture

I don’t really like saying this, but I can’t sugarcoat the truth. The profile picture is the first element they will see before reading anything else. Some people might say that beauty without brains is useless, but it depends on the position you’re applying for. I highly recommend using the best picture possible. If your ID photo isn’t good enough, try taking a new one. Let them see a positive aura in your photo.

Just make sure you’re appropriately dressed and look professional. Don’t try to offer something other than your skills and qualifications. They might appreciate your photo, but it won’t make or break your chances. Remember, you’re looking for a job, not trying to impress someone in a boxing match.


There’s no need to include excessive information such as your age or ID number (varies by country) when applying for a local job. When it comes to signing the contract, all these details will be taken care of later. Your birthplace, birth date, favorite food, primary school—seriously, who’s going to care about that? Whether you’re single or married, put that aside for now. If they want to know, they will ask.

Keep it simple and professional.


For students who don’t have any work experience, internships can come in handy. If you have relevant part-time jobs, you can include those too. Experience is the key here, whether it’s official or unofficial. Make sure it is relevant to the position you’re applying for or highlight what you’ve learned from previous jobs that might be useful.

For those who have worked before, avoid listing too much experience. It may give the impression that you’re a job hopper or troublemaker. You might disagree, but remember that you’re a stranger when applying for a job, and such notions don’t work in your favor. Keep it concise, get in the door, and then you can reveal more if necessary. Show them that you can commit to the job.


This is often the most convoluted part. Do you really need to list your kindergarten attendance? Most people do, and I fail to see the irony in how that applies to adult life. Primary school, secondary school, college/university—wrap your mind around it; the most recent education is what matters most. Going to college implies that you already earned a high school degree, and having a high school diploma implies that you completed primary school. Keep it in check.

Again, providing excessive information, especially about education, doesn’t prove how awesome you are, unless you attended a prestigious boarding school or something of that nature. If not, save yourself the hassle and don’t let your education overshadow your intelligence. Nobody will hire you solely based on getting straight A’s in high school when you already have a degree. Showcase your quality, not just quantity.


If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that this post starts with the objective, experience, education, and then comes down to this part—skills. Do you know why?

Because that’s the basic principle of hiring. Fresh graduates understand this. In most job openings, employers tend to prioritize candidates with experience and then look at their education. That’s the key. If you lack experience, you still have education to fall back on. And if you don’t have that either, emphasize your skills and objectives. Some basic computer skills like using office suites don’t need to be mentioned here. Face it, everyone knows how to use a word processor, and learning Excel won’t take too long. Don’t try to show off too much, as it might backfire on you someday.


I love this part. Here’s where I would insert a small snippet mentioning “Available upon request.” If they are likely to hire you, they might ask for references or, even better, you might already be hired. If they mention that they will call you, it’s best not to wait.

I wouldn’t discourage you from including referrals if you wish to do so; that’s totally up to you. But think about it—when you have already proven yourself, they don’t need to double-check everything themselves.

Contact Information

The majority of people typically list their contact information at the beginning. That’s not really intuitive. Think about it, after reading through the resume, wouldn’t it be great if the contact information were at the end? That way, someone can quickly pick up the phone and make the call instead of having to scroll back up. I believe that would be more thoughtful.

There’s no need to explicitly label each piece of contact information. Simply using the @ symbol for your email address is sufficient. The same goes for your phone number. It’s like labeling a trash bin as “trash bin” when people already know intuitively what it is. That’s ridiculous. Nobody needs a dictionary for that. The point is, you’re already reachable when they have your resume, one way or another.

And you’re done!

That’s all. I hope this little guide helps you as much as it helped me, and I wish you the best of luck. You don’t have to rely on anyone but yourself. And even if you can, it doesn’t mean you have to. Stand on your own two feet. There’s an indescribable feeling when you manage to accomplish something on your own, even if it’s for the first time. Embrace it.

Let life come to you.

Posted May 13, 2013