5 Essentials of a Job-Winning Resume in 2020

With the economy taking a downturn due to Covid-19, there are job-losses everywhere.

With recruiters only wanting to hire a handful of competent employees, there is fierce competition in every field and industry.

It is in such a scenario that you need to level up your resume.

No ordinary resume will get you shortlisted for an interview in such a trying time.

In this article, we have outlined 5 essentials of a job-winning resume to help you win your dream job:


  • Picking a suitable resume format

You may have extensive years of professional experience or zero to less work experience, you may even have gaps in your career and need for change in career. Whatever the reasons, you need an impressive resume format that best suits you and your professional situation.

Here are the three well-known resume formats that you can use to frame a job-winning resume:


Reverse Chronological Resume Format:

This format follows a reverse-timeline order to organize your resume. You have to simply begin by stating your most recent job profile first, followed by your past job profiles in order by date. The primary part of this format is your work history.

Use this format if you are a mid-level or senior-level professional.


Functional Resume Format: 

This format focuses on your skills rather than the timeline of your professional engagements and is thus ideal for those who do not want to divert attention away from it. 

Use this format if you often change jobs or you need to cover your career gaps.


Combination Resume Format: 

This format gives equal importance to both your work experience and skills. It combines the best of the functional and reverse chronological resume format.

Use this format if you are an entry-level professional, have career gaps, or a professional who has switched jobs too frequently.

The reverse chronological is the most preferred resume format so try to make use of it if it. The functional format is the least preferred so use it only when it is necessary.


  • Customize your resume according to your target job

The one rule to shortlist success is customizing your resume and tailoring it according to your target job.

A bland resume that is not tailor-made has a higher likelihood of getting rejected as it does nothing to address the gaps in the job vacancy. This problem gets resolved when you customize your resume as you take explicit steps to ensure that your resume fulfills the criteria laid out in the job listing.

So say goodbye to the good old days of sending the same resume to different organizations. Level up and customize your resume.


Here are two ways to accomplish it:

Incorporate keywords: 

Keywords are specific job criteria that are outlined by the hiring organization. Each organization has specific demands and thus, the keyword for every job listing would be different.

All you have to do is identify these keywords, and incorporate them in your resume as long as it is applicable to you. If you can’t justify using these keywords to a recruiter and have zero expertise or domain knowledge of these keywords, do not use it.


Make a master resume: 

A master resume is a resume that contains all your career, educational, and certifications-centric information from beginning to end. It is basically a storehouse where you dump information irrespective of its current significance.

Information that was not relevant for the jobs you were targeting in the past might be relevant to the jobs you are targeting now.

This is why having a master resume that has all your information is important. It helps you cherry-pick the relevant information of your career trajectory, thereby helping you make a customized resume.


  • Use one-liner points to present your working experience

Great presentability is the hallmark of a job-winning resume. Thus, your resume should be structured with detailed attention to information presentation.

Being highly skilled and excellent at what you do won’t be enough if you present this information in your resume in a haphazard manner.

A classic example of this is when people use paragraphs to compose their work experience details. Doing this is a big resume blunder that drastically hurts their shortlisting chances as most recruiters tend to skim through their resume due to its bar readability.

You can rectify this situation by simply using one-liner points. Not only will it enhance the readability of your resume but it will help you give an actual fighting chance at winning in the job marathon you are currently running.


  • Use a distinct section to highlight your skills

Most recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds to scan through your resume. You need to ensure that your resume entices the recruiter into reading your resume within these 6 seconds.

Your skill sets being your biggest weapon can help you win this war of jobs. All you need to do is effectively communicate your skill sets in your resume. The recruiter needs to be able to identify them the moment they lay eyes on your resume.

You can ensure this by highlighting your skills under a distinct ‘key skills’ section. Additionally, if you have technical expertise and knowledge of tools, simply distinguish both by using distinct sections.

Here’s an example of perfect skills on a resume looks like when you divide your core skills from your technical skills:


  • Compose a summary that highlights your suitability for the job

You may not be great at sales, but you need to pick up this art and turn into the fiercest salesman you know when you’re on the lookout for a premium job in your target industry.

Today’s job market is highly challenging and competitive. To win in this thriving job market, you need to communicate your suitability for the given job. You need to show that you are the best candidate for the jobs that you are targeting.

You get the best opportunity to do this through your resume summary.

Make sure that it highlights your career achievements and shows that your skills can deliver value.

Doing this will help you compose a job-winning resume that will help you get the job.

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