Your resume is going to become one of your most prized possessions when you’re finished because throughout the job searching process you are going to work on it more than you can believe. It needs to identify and outline your various skills and work experience, while making a lasting impression with the employer.
Your resume needs to sell YOU to the employers in 10-15 seconds initially. This is how long it takes to make a good impression. If your resume catches the eye of the employer it will make it to the short list and there the employer will take the time to read through your qualifications carefully to see if they would like to call you in for an interview.
Every resume is going to be different, of course, because you want to make it your own. Your resume should reflect yourself and display your most successful accomplishments. That being said, there are some general guidelines for the structure of a resume that should always be followed.
Your resume should be a separate document from your cover letter, either pdf or word document. Do not go over two pages because employers will not always read through the entire document, and make sure contact information is included on both pages. Be careful when using bold and italics, do not overdo it. Be conscious of all grammatical errors- do not capitalize every other word (only proper nouns are capitalized), make sure font is uniform (size and style), verbs and subjects should be past tense, use action words and accomplishment statements.
The best and most important information should be placed close to the top of the page so there is a better chance of an employer reading it. It can be easy to go off on tangents when describing your skills or work experience so remember to keep it to the point, either point form or short paragraphs.
Your resume will be divided into eight separate sections, including:
- Career Objective/Value Summary
- Skills summary/Highlights
- Skill set area (functional/combination)
- Work History
- Education and/or Certification
- Volunteer History
- Interests (optional)
Header will include information such as your name, address, telephone/cell number, email address, social media (LinkedIn/Twitter). Consider using this header on all of your documents (resume, cover letter, reference sheet). This helps establish a brand for yourself and will help contribute to making a lasting impression with the employer. Business cards can also used with the same branding and can be distributed to the employer after an interview. This article has some great information about establishing a brand for yourself and for your resume.
One last tip I have for building your resume is to… PROOFREAD!! It can be so easy to make a mistake and skim over it without noticing so please please please proofread at least twice and have a friend or family member read it over as well. If there is one factor that could jeopardize your chances of getting called for an interview it is having a grammatical error on your application documents.
If you’re still looking for more tips or want examples of the different sections on your resume check this website out!