- The most effective resumes are not mass produced, but written for a single employer with a particular position or goal in mind.
- A strong resume and cover letter combination may be your only chance to land an interview.
- Most recruiters take only 30-60 seconds to review resumes and decide if they wish to go further with that candidate. So, it is important to make your resume stand out!
10 Important Tips
- Limit your resume to one page;
- Be concise, simple and to the point;
- Focus on the employer’s needs, not your own;
- Communicate your abilities and personal qualities that pertain to the job;
- Eliminate the use of “I”;
- Coached and motivated loan officers and tellers to meet and…
- Developed and implemented action plans to achieve sales and…
- Participated in the interviewing and selection process of…
- Trained all newly hired teller and loan officers.
- Start sentences and phrases with action verbs followed by descriptive words;
- Remember to always give specific examples of accomplishments, skills and results;
- Use traditional bullets (i.e., circle or square). Nothing fancy or decorative;
- Proofread carefully for typos, spelling and grammatical errors.
- Always send your resume with a cover letter.
- Make sure verb tense is correct.
- Use simple/plain fonts (i.e., Times New Roman or Arial)
- Use traditional fonts sized 10-12.
- Use 1″ margins on all sides.
- Give it a professional appearance – use resume quality paper, light colors are best.
- Always include your current address, phone number and email address;
- Keep resume FREE of vertical and horizontal lines, graphics, italics and columns.
- If sending resume electronically, convert it into PDF format
- Consider developing a scannable version of your resume
- Chronological [DOC]
- Use if your education and/or experience closely relates to your career goals.
- Lists education and work experience in reverse chronological order (most recent information in each section first).
- Most commonly used resume format.
- Functional [DOC]
- Puts greater emphasis on SKILLS and less on work history or educational background.
- Effective when work experience does not show a direct relationship to the job or when there are significant gaps in experience.
- Combination [DOC]
- Shows a short skills summary.
- Maintains use of reverse chronological order for education and experience sections.
- Chronological [DOC]
- Scannable [DOC]
- Many employers using this method to store the large number of resumes they receive.
- Use keywords or phrases applicable to the career field or related to the job applying for.
- Use a standard font style size between 10-12 points. Avoid decorative fonts.
- Do not use italics or underlining. Use boldface for emphasis.
- Avoid graphics and shading.
- Use asterisks (*) instead of bullets.
- Do not double space between sections.
- Resume should be an original, printed on white paper. Do not fold or staple.
Resume Common Sections
The sections below are suggestions. You might feel the need to add/substitute some of these sections to fit your purposes.
1. Header/Contact Information
- Don’t forget your email address.
- Add your cell phone number, if desired.
- Bold and use a slightly bigger font for your name.
- Make your objective specific and focused on the employer and the specific job.
- Communicate your career goals and objectives in just 1-2 sentences.
- Use this area to state that you are “Willing to Relocate”.
- Make sure the content in your resume relates to the objective.
- Seeking a management position utilizing my strong organizational skills, educational background and customer service focus.
- To firmly establish myself in a challenging position with a growth-oriented company that will ultimately lead to a position in the field. Willing to Relocate.
- To obtain a challenging opportunity in the areas of Fundraising, Customer Service, or Sales.
- To obtain an entry-level position in publishing in the areas of promotions, advertising, design, and editing.
- A position in data analysis where skills in mathematics, computer programming and deductive reasoning will contribute to new systems development.
- A position as a General Sales Representative with a pharmaceutical firm which will use chemistry background and ability to work on a self-directed basis in managing a market territory. Willing to travel and relocate.
- Start with your most recent degree and go back in time.
- Bold your degree, not the school attended.
- Add your graduation date (month & year) even if you have not graduated yet.
- Add your degree (Bachelor in Kinesiology) and Major (Exercise Science).
- Add your minor or concentration if desired.
- GPA is optional. Most employers like to see it and will probably ask at some point. Do not add a GPA if it is lower than 2.8.
- Do not list your high school.
4. Work Experience
- Use reverse-chronological order (most recent jobs first).
- Include full time, part time, volunteer, military experience, student teaching, graduate assistant positions.
- Generally, you need only go back approximately 10-15 years of work experience.
- Identify job title, name of employer, location (city & state) and dates of employment.
- Include job responsibilities. Use phrases with action verbs and transferable skills.
- Ask yourself “What did I accomplish in this position?” and “How does that relate to my objective?”
- Give specific examples of things you accomplished.
- Research buzz words the company uses to describe their ideal candidate. Think about how your work experience has taught you these skills. Then, use those words in your resume.
- Add technical skills as well as foreign language and communication skills.
- Mention only skills with which you are strongly familiar.
- List professional organizations or clubs closely related to your major or career field.
- List all organizations in which you had an active duty to show leadership skills.
- Explain what your duties were in any office you held.
- Consider adding any volunteer work that may add transferable skills to your resume.
Other common resume sections
- Keyword Summary
- Computer Skills
Source: EIU Career Services’ Website