If you’re going to land the job of your dreams, you need to have a killer resume to help you showcase your skills.
What is a resume, you might ask? If you’re new to the job search process, here’s what you need to know – in short, a resume is a brief document that tells employers precisely what you want them to know about you. It details all the qualifications that make you the right candidate for a position and helps you advertise your skills and experiences in a concise, logical, and easy-to-read format.
Sounds simple enough, right? It is. However, when it comes to crafting the perfect resume, things can get a bit dicey, particularly if you have no experience in creating a resume.
Writing about your own skills and qualifications can be tough. Nobody likes to brag, but when you’re trying to create a resume, it’s absolutely essential.
If you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to making a resume to showcase your skills, you may want to start by taking this class on Udemy – “Resume: The One Page Document to Success.” It’s a free class that will walk you through all the basics – and since it’s free, what have you got to lose?
Here’s what I thought of this quick, easy-to-follow course.
What is Resume: The One Page Document to Success?
This course helps you learn exactly what a resume is and how it can be used to help you be successful in your job search. It covers all the meaningful traits that a good, useful resume will have, along with the five steps you need to follow in order to craft a job-winning resume.
Why is a good resume essential? It will give the hiring committee (or individual) some criteria so that they can better judge who deserves an interview. It also helps you make an impression and can be used when you are trying to convince somebody to write a letter of recommendation for you.
You’ll also learn how to apply the five necessary steps to create the first draft of your own resume. Whether it’s your first resume or your fortieth, this class is incredibly helpful.
There are no prerequisites to the course – besides a willingness to learn and to advance your career, that is. It will help you learn how to summarize yourself in one page and find ways to differentiate your resume from that of other applicants.
It also covers ways in which you can avoid one of the most fatal resume creation mistakes- using the same resume for every job posting, without tailoring it to the unique attributes and requirements of the job.
There are plenty of resume classes you can take on Udemy, but this is one of the few that is not only free but also high-quality. It’s taught with the active learning method utilized by the 5 Step Careers Bootcamp. These boot camps are highly regarded, and this resume course is no exception.
With everything you need to learn broken down into five minutes or less, this course is perfectly suited when it comes to accommodating the average adult attention span. You’ll likely be able to complete the class in one sitting, but if not, it’s easy to pick back up at any time.
What Kinds of Content Does the Course Cover?
This class is broken down into six sections. I’ll describe each one in detail for you below, without going into too much detail and spoiling the course for you!
The course overview tends to be one of my favorite sections of an online class! This one covers everything you will learn in the course. It was a bit choppy in its execution, which I wasn’t terribly fond of – yet incredibly long at the same time (eight minutes!). It also has a quiz, which is a unique feature for an overview to have and is not something I’ve encountered in any other Udemy courses.
General Format and Contact Details
The next section is about how to format your resume. There was another long preamble for this section about O’Dwyer’s own experiences in working in a warehouse and delivering pizzas. The point of describing these many seemingly unrelated experiences was to show how you can tailor the information in your resume to a broad range of opportunities.
Then, O’Dwyer guides listeners into a clean, concise format they can use when creating any kind of resume. It’s not exactly a template, perse, but it provides you with some easy-to-follow layout tips that you can use on any kind of resume.
This next section talks about the information you might include on your resume, but also might leave off. He indicates the importance of having a reason for everything you put on your resume.
For example, if you have the ability to work long hours or want to demonstrate that you have good self-discipline, you might say that you ran a marathon – but if you’re trying to demonstrate that you have strong teamwork skills, this is something you would leave off.
In other words, if you’re going to include “bonus” information about your hobbies, skills, and experiences, just make sure they are relevant.
This next section is, perhaps, the most relevant and clear-cut. It will guide you on which information should be included in the education section. You’ll want to make a few points and leave it at that, rather than listing out every single class you’ve taken.
Instead, when filling out this section of your resume, it’s important to be concise. You can include awards, activities, and other information as long as they are relevant to the job for which you are applying. The earlier you are in your career, the more you can put regarding your education, too, since you’ll have less information to fill out in the experience section.
The experience section is one of the most important sections of your resumes, especially if you are later in your career. O’Dwyer indicates that one of the most common mistakes applicants make is not quantifying the results you list there. You need to show the impact that your actions had on your job – use specific numbers and actual deliverables to show your level of experience.
The last section on your resume is the customization section. For me, this was the most valuable section of the class because I am not early in my career – I haven’t applied for a job in a while, so it’s helpful to know how customizing my resume can be done at any stage.
O’Dwyer goes into extensive detail about how you can take the attributes and skills you learned from any job to apply to a future job. To do this, you’ll need to look carefully at a job description and then make sure those factors are included and represented well in your own resume.
Again, you will want to be concise, but you also need to consider the value that your skills and experiences might bring to a specific job.
Related reading: Udemy Review – Is Udemy Worth It?
Major Benefits of Taking This Course
Basic Layout for Making a Resume
Making a resume can be challenging, particularly when you’re trying to customize it for a very specific job description. This class doesn’t go into extreme detail about how to customize a resume for a specific job in particular but does give you some helpful templates to follow when you’re crafting your own document.
After all, it wouldn’t make sense of the instructor to go into more than just the most general concepts – resumes are meant to be customized.
Clear, Concise Instruction
Although you could take a full-fledged in-person course or buy a book when it comes time for you to draft up a resume, there’s really no reason to do so. Take this class instead. You’ll save a ton of time, since the class has a laser focus and gets right to the heart of the matter. You’ll learn all the key pointers you need to know without being subjected to hours of nonsense.
This class is taught by Brian O’Dwyer, the CEO of a company called 5stepCareers. He is also the commercial founder and executive chairman of CognaLearn and a professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Asia.
For me, those attributes weren’t the ones that impressed me most, although they were, without a doubt, quite impressive. Instead, I was more attracted to the fact that O’Dwyer has reviewed more than 10,000 resumes and interviewed hundreds of people in his work as a hiring decision-maker for many finance interviews and management consulting case interviews.
As an investment banking recruiter and strategy practice recruiter, he really knows his stuff. He even once served as a career mentor to Duke and Columbia University students – a role he held for two decades.
Those attributes make him one of the top experts when it comes to resume writing. Plus, since he has teaching experience, he knows what it takes to get a message across to a diverse group of learners.
He has a 4.0 instructor rating on Udemy and has taught nearly 12,000 students via this platform alone. He’s worked in the United States, Australia, and Asia, giving him a great deal of credibility when it comes to working with students of all backgrounds.
The six-step process covered in this class was particularly helpful. I am very much a Type A person, so seeing everything laid out clearly and succinctly was helpful. The instructor gives students a specific order in which to write their resumes. Personally, I find that “chunking” things like this is incredibly helpful in avoiding overwhelm when it comes time to write your resume.
Approachable, Conversational Tone
Some reviewers posted in their final comments that they weren’t fond of O’Dwyer’s teaching style. Personally, I didn’t mind it, and found that his tone was both approachable and conversational. It was not monotone in the slightest, as some reviews claimed. I liked that he pulled in several of his own real-life examples (as random as they seemed, at times!) to help illustrate the points he was trying to make.
Points Out Most Common Mistakes
By far, this was one of the most helpful features of the course for me. Seeing what could potentially be viewed as a mistake was integral, as it gave me a quick “checklist” of “do-not-do’s” that I could refer to when creating my own resume later on.
The whole point of crafting a resume is so that you can land a job – so why should you spend money just to make money? I know that’s not how the old saying goes, but when it comes to applying for jobs, I really don’t want to spend more money than I have to.
With this class, you don’t have to spend a single cent. It’s free and it’s quick, making it a good option for somebody who is strapped for time, money, or both.
Everything Is Offered Fully Online
I have taken online classes before in which I was required to log in at preset times, print off supplemental documents, or engage in a lot of work offline. While I suppose that kind of course format could work well for someone else, it really was not ideal for me. I would much rather be able to view everything in one place in an online setting instead.
After each section or module, you will be prompted to complete a quiz that is based on what the section covered. I love these short quizzes, personally, but if you aren’t a fan you can easily skip over them – you don’t have to get a certain score on a quiz in order to continue on with the class.
The quizzes are helpful because they review everything that was learned – it’s a way for me to “check-in” with myself to make sure I”m paying attention and not slacking off! If you aren’t sure of an answer or get a question wrong, you will be provided with information on where you can go back in the course to find the correct answer, too.
If you like Brian O’Dwyer’s teaching style, he offers several other courses on Udemy, too. These are all related to career development and job seeking. The resume course is his only free course, but the rest are affordably priced, too. They include:
- Pitching: Develop Your Unique Selling Proposition
- Networking: The Secret to Getting Job Interviews
- Interview: The Last Leap Before Your Dream Job
- Career Strategy: The Road Map to Landing Your Dream Career
All of these are affordably priced at $39.99, but it’s important to note that none of them, with the exception of the pitching course, are rated as highly as the resume course. They come in at anywhere between a 3.5 and 3.9 rating, indicating that they might not be entirely worth your money. Most complaints about these courses had to do with the audio quality and the nature of the courses being more for career changers, rather than people just starting out in their careers.
If O’Dwyer wasn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry – there are other resume writing courses on Udemy, too. These are both free and paid. Some of the top paid resume courses include:
- Resume Writing – Your Ultimate Step-by-Step Resume Guide
- Resume Writing – The Ultimate Resume Writing Course
- Job Seekers Guide to Resume Writing and Interview Skills
The leading free courses on Udemy for this topic are:
- Resume Secrets: Writing Resumes That Get More Job Interviews
- Comprehensive Guide for Resume Writing
- Electrify Your Resume with Strategies Relevant for 2020
Complaints About the Course
No Direct Interaction With Instructor
This is a free class on Udemy, so you won’t’ be able to interact directly with the instructor. There aren’t any channels to get in touch with him, either, which could be frustrating if you had follow-up questions after the course.
Lack of Good Examples
Although the instructor indicates the features that make a good resume good, there aren’t many examples given to help show you what to do. This wasn’t a dealbreaker for me, but I know that it can be helpful to see real-life examples when you’re doing something for the first time.
Some of the transitions both into and out of various segments of the course were a bit choppy. I found the introduction and conclusion to be a bit jarring. I would have liked to see a bit more of a preamble at the beginning and more of a wrap-up at the end for a more concise, effective instructional approach.
Poor Audio Quality
I thought that this was perhaps an issue on my end, trying to watch the course on my smartphone, but after skimming through the other reviews after taking the course, I realized that was not the case.
There are some sections in the class where the instructor speaks very low. It can be tough to hear, so I would recommend taking this class in a quiet environment so you don’t have to strain your ears. Wearing headphones might help, too.
Who is the Resume: The One Page Document to Success Course on Udemy Best For?
At less than an hour in length, this course is neatly organized and perfect for any job seeker at any stage in his career. You’ll learn everything you need to include in your resume, from contacts to education, experience, and more. You’ll also discover helpful ways to tailor your resume to individual job postings and how to make it stand out from the rest of the crowd.
I won’t say that I’m a beginner when it comes to applying for jobs. I’ve applied for hundreds of jobs in my lifetime – and been offered quite a few positions – so you could say that I know what it takes to write a compelling resume.
That said, I still found this course helpful. One thing I’ve been guilty of in the past is using the same resume for multiple job postings. While this is sometimes okay, especially if the jobs are similar in nature and description, nine times out of ten you will be better off creating a new, tailor-made resume each time.
This course will teach you everything you need to know to truly perfect your resume. Therefore, it’s a great course not just for people who are new to the job application process, but also for people who have been in the game a while and want to brush up their dusty CVs.
It struck me, while taking this class, that there are two groups of people for whom this class might be particularly useful.
One group is high school students. As a high school student who is just headed out into the workforce, the concept of creating a resume can be incredibly daunting. You don’t know what to include and what to leave out, and tailoring your resume to the job? Please. You’re just trying to get some kind of ideas on paper, let alone the ideas that will perfectly describe how you are the ideal candidate for that position.
This course is short – perfect for the split-second attention span of the average teenager! – and easy to follow. There’s no complicated lingo or advanced terminology to wade through. Since it’s free, it’s great for the broke high school or college student on a tight budget.
Another group that this class is perfect for is the mid- to late-career changer. If you’ve been in your current position for a decade or more, there’s a good chance that you haven’t had to revisit your resume in quite some time. Things may have changed since the last time you drafted up a CV! This course is a short-but-sweet refresher that will help you get back out there – without looking like a dinosaur!
All in all, I found this course to be immensely helpful, regardless of the stage you’re at in your career seeking process. If you want to know what it takes to craft the perfect resume – and you have it in you to actually follow these steps – this class is well worth your time.