When looking for a new job, a resume is what can either give you the edge or have your application thrown into the garbage bin. A great resume can be made by dividing it into a few simple sections. Depending on your level of expertise, some of these areas may not apply to you.
A Few Words on Formatting
When formatting your resume, it’s best to use bullet points instead of complete sentences. This allows your prospective employer to see, at a glance, your qualifications. No one wants to read a long, drawn out document. As well, try to omit articles such as “the” or “a.” For example, under job title, put “Store Manger,” not “the Store Manager.” As well, try to keep your resume short and sweet. But, it is understood that sometimes it’s impossible to list even the basics on one sheet of paper. Don’t worry if your resume is longer than one page, but don’t spread things out to try and make your resume longer. Do try to cut it down if it exceeds three pages. Remember, the first page of your resume gives your prospective employer their first impression.
Include your name, address, phone number, and email centered at the top of the page. You do not need to title your resume. Do something to make your name stand out: you can put it in bold, make it a larger font size, or do both. Though you want your name to stand out, don’t put it in a different color or in a wacky font. Such formatting can be seen as unprofessional. A “clever” email address can also put you out of the running for a position. Don’t use your email if it’s inappropriate; you can create a new email for free with Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo. I highly suggest using your first initial, last name, and a number of your choosing.
1234 Somewhere Street, City, State, 12345
Summary of Qualifications
This is where you get to talk about yourself. Simply list your good qualities relative to the job, separated by commons. For example, if looking for a job in the restaurant business, you may write “well-organized, able to stay calm in demanding situations, warm personality…” Let your prospective employer know why they should choose you based on your personality.
List your educational record in chronological order, starting with your high school or where you received your undergraduate degree, depending on your level of experience. List the degree you earned, the school’s name, its location, and any awards or recognition you received while enrolled there. You can also list your GPA. If you held any positions of leadership, it is also advised to list those. Include your dates of enrollment.
University of Florida (2002-2006)
It is VERY important to remember to list your prior and present work experience in chronological order, starting with your most recent job. Prospective employers won’t even bother with your application if they have to try and fit together your work history themselves. For work experience, state your job title, the business you worked for, where it was located and how long you worked there (month/year-month/year). Mention any recognition you received at your job or anything you accomplished. Make a short bullet-point list of your major responsibilities. Again, for this list don’t use complete sentences. Use quick phrases, such as “telephoned suppliers and reordered merchandise.”
Papertech, New York, NY (January 2006-July 2008)
• Lead a team of ten in creating a new televised advertising campaign
• Commenced discussion and sales with sponsors
• Managed the development of sales materials
• Sales increased 5% after a new campaign
Sometimes, volunteer experience can give you an upper hand. Whether it shows more experience for those who haven’t held a job before or shows your initiative to give back to the community, volunteer experience can only be seen in a positive light. Follow the same format as the “Work Experience” section: title, company, location, length of employment, and accomplishment list. If you are able to incorporate it, you can include what lessons you have learned from this volunteer experience which would be valuable in the position you are applying for.
Here is where you can list any skills you have that could give you an edge in the field. This can be anything from technological savvy to knowledge of several languages. Make yourself look good, but don’t be arrogant.
Certifications and Licenses
If you have any official certifications or licenses, list them here.
Remember, not all resumes are created equal. Resumes need to be tailor-made to fit the position they are written for. For example, would you create the same resume for a retail job as you would a corporate management position? Sections such as the “Summary of Qualifications” need to be written specifically for the job. Mention qualities that relate to the job. For work experience, focus on what you have achieved that is relative to the field that you are applying in.