A resume should clearly represent your work history and educational background along with any special skills or qualifications that you may have. It should be grammatically correct and free of any spelling mistakes and in a font that’s easy to read. You should choose a style that is preferred by your prospective employer and send your resume along with a compelling and effective cover letter for optimum results. Ultimately, your resume should be congruent with major online job boards and be email and printer friendly.
Provide details of your capabilities and strengths and present them in a positive light. Establish the pertinent information that you’ll want to include along with how to phrase it. It’s important that you know what to highlight and what to downplay for each prospective job that you’re seeking. Your resume can and should be personalized for different jobs, so you may find that you need a couple of different formats.
The first thing you’ll want to determine is what type of resume you need. For example, if you’re re-entering the workforce after an extended time out or entering the workforce for the very first time, your resume will look a little different from someone who’s seeking a career change or a new position within the same profession. If you’ve just finished college, you’re likely to focus more on the educational aspect of your resume along with any work experience or apprenticeships you might have completed. Your resume will show what you’ve done and what you’re looking for, so having a clear understanding of this before beginning your resume will determine which type of resume to use. You have at most 30 seconds for your resume to make an impression on any prospective employer, so it’s very important that you maximize your resume effectiveness and increase your chances to stand out from all other applicants.
A little research into your field or industry will also help to determine the style of resume that you need. Certain styles are often used in different fields, and with a little investigation you’ll be able to see if there are any sample resumes in your field that you could fashion yours after.
Start out with your name and contact information at the top of the page and choose font that’s a little larger than the rest of the resume. Your address, email and phone number should be listed next. One thing that’s important about your email address is that it should be professional. Don’t use a funny or suggestive type of email address that might turn off a prospective employer. Consider making up a new one if necessary, and remember to check it frequently.
You could follow this information with a one or two sentence description or summary which sums up your career goals, though this part isn’t always necessary; however, if you do write one out you’ll be a lot more focused on what you’re looking for and what to include on your resume. It’s important that you’re not too generic with this statement, as it almost certainly will turn off a prospective employer. It’s recommended to change this summary for each position that you’re seeking as it should relate to the job that you’re applying for. The purpose of this statement is to convince the prospective employer that you’re the one for the job.
After this summary, list your educational background, work history and any affiliations you might have. Follow up with references, though it’s a good idea to speak with your references to let them know that you’ve listed them.
Finally, you’ll need to choose from the different styles that work best with your experience and type of job that you’re applying for. The resume should show your career progression and if you’re undecided on the style, choose a couple and get some feedback on them from friends or family.
Compiling a resume is such a crucial aspect to finding a job that it can be very intimidating, so you might want to consult the services of a professional and make sure that it’s done right. After all, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.