Step One: Types of resumes
A chronological resume, the most common type, lists work experiences in reverse chronological order with dates, followed by job titles, the company name, and an explanation of job responsibilities. This type of resume is great if your work history relates closely to your career objectives. It is the perfect choice for a professional who has worked his/her way up in positions that progressed higher in her career field.
A functional resume focuses more on job titles and duties that the job seeker has held and less on dates. This type of resume works well if you have had a variety of job experiences, have little experience, or are a new job seeker.
Step Two: Put Your Resume Together
There are endless ways to put together your resume. Your format should be unique so that your resume stands out, but there is essential information you need to supply. The six components of a resume are heading, objective, education, work experience, skills/qualifications, and activities/organizations/honors.
Your heading provides the most important information to the employerwho you are and how you can be contacted! Your heading should include:
- Your name: make it larger and bolded
- Your address
- Phone number
If you are moving, give your current and permanent addresses. If you know when you are moving it is helpful to add the dates. For example:
Anita JobDo not abbreviate except for the state. Information such as street, boulevard, or avenue should be typed out fully.
Address until August 1, 2003:
123 Street Place
Philadelphia, PA 12345
Address After August 1, 2003:
456 Main Street
Helena, MT 25489
Do not use Mr., Mrs., Ms. or Miss. Providing such information on your resume opens you up for discrimination.
An objective is one or two sentences about the specific job you want and what you can contribute to the employer in return for the job. A good objective should be specific and give your resume direction.
Use an objective when
- You are pursuing a specific job goal
- You know the exact title of the position for which you are applying
- You have a diverse career background that needs direction
- You are a new graduate and need to formalize your goals
Remember, your objective should be tailored exactly to the job for which you are applying!!!
To obtain a job utilizing my skills and abilities
Sales management position using expertise in motivating sales personnel in order to increase profit sharing
Your education section should include the following:
- Name of college/university
- Location (city and state)
- Date of graduation, or potential graduation
- Degree awarded
- Field of study
- GPA of 3.0 or better
List the degree you are most currently pursuing first. For example:
Peirce College Philadelphia, PA
B.S. Business Administration Expected May 2004
Community College of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA A.S. Business Administration May 2002
Your work experience should include:
- Name of the company
- Location of company (city and state)
- Position held
- Dates of employment (month and year)
- Description of duties, responsibilities, etc.
Work experience should be more than your duties. You should also include accomplishments and special projects to inform the employer of how and what you have contributed to your past positions. Good descriptions of duties:
- Use action verbs to demonstrate initiative and drive. Be sure to keep verbs in the correct tense. Positions you currently hold should be in the present tense, while previous positions should be in the past tense.
- Are specific
- Describe what you did and your successes
- Are positive and sell your skills
- Relate your past skills and experiences to the job you seek
NEVER use complete sentences on your resume! Since the average employer takes 10 seconds to review your resume, it is important that it is concise and to the point.
Before writing your resume it is important to recognize and identify valuable skills. Always be specific about what you know and be sure to relate it to the job you want. Avoid overgeneralized phrases, such as "communication skills" or "computer skills". You need to be specific in the skills that you possess, such as "Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Access".
Skills categories include:
- Specialized skills (ex: certifications, computer software)
- Computer skills
- Office skills
- Communications skills
Include hobbies and personal interests if they are employment related, non-controversial, and they demonstrate your skills and experiences. If you have held a relevant position in an organization, include it as well. Examples of appropriate organizations to include are:
- Professional organizations
- Honor/academic societies
- Appropriate honors and awards
Do not include personal hobbies unless you know specifically that the person reviewing your resume shares the same interests.
Step Three: Points to Remember
Those are the basics to include in your resume. The following is a list of do's and don'ts to remember
|Keep it brief; 1-2 pages||Use a template|
|Include your name and contact information at the top of the first page||Lie|
|Put your name and the page number at the top of the second page||Misspell|
|Open with a strong objective and/or summary of qualifications||Use colored paper or fancy fonts|
|Include a cover letter when mailing or emailing your resume||Supply personal information (ex: family, marriage)|
|Use the right format for your skills and objective||Include salary information. If the employer asks, this should be addressed in the cover letter|
|Be neat, organized and professional||List discriminatory affiliations (ex: political campaigns, religious organizations)|
|Use the same font and appropriate verb tense||Include the phrase "references available upon request"|
|Be creative||Include hobbies or personal interests unless they relate to your objective|