What’s the hardest part of creating an effective resume? Getting started! Here are some tips for putting together a striking resume that makes you stand out from the competition.
Check out samples for inspiration:
• Research different styles of resumes online. Current samples from your industry will be especially helpful.
Choose a format:
• Chronological—Most common format; starts with most recent jobs and works backwards, usually only 10 years into the past
• Functional—Focused on skills rather than on employers or timeframes
• Combination—Uses both chronological and functional elements
Decide on sections to include:
• Contact information
• Objective (optional—if included, your objective should not be simply to obtain a certain type of position, but should focus on how your skills can contribute to a specific organization)
• Experience, training, military history, responsibilities, dates
• Relevant skills (computer, languages, etc.), accreditation, licenses
• Activities and interests
• List of references (or include “references upon request” statement)
• Salary history
• Mention of family, marital status, religion, race, health problems
And a few more tips:
• ENGAGE, DON’T EXAGGERATE—Make your resume appealing, but don’t embellish. Let your experience and skills do the talking.
• TELL THE STORY—Use strong verbs to start your sentences, and describe your responsibilities in as much detail as possible. What did you do? For how long? What were you responsible for? What projects and people did you lead?
• KEEP IT CONSISTENT—Maintain a consistent style throughout. Choose the same font type and size for each of your headings, and use the same style of bullets in each section. While each section contains different types of information, they should look similar to produce a cohesive whole.
• PAST VS. PRESENT—In the description of your current job, keep verbs in the present tense. For previous jobs, use the past tense.
• READ AND READ AGAIN (AND ASK FOR HELP)—Edit carefully and have at least one person with an eye for detail review for you. If possible, ask two or more editors to verify that there are no typos, misspellings, grammatical errors, repetitive statements, or awkwardly constructed phrases or sentences.
You never know when you’ll want to start a job search or apply for a particular opening, so always keep your resume up to date. You’ll feel confident that you can showcase your unique talents, experience, and skills at a moment’s notice.