Your resume is an advertising tool. It communicates your skills, major strengths and future potential and it lets an employer see your value to their organization. The purpose of a resume is to get you to the next stage - the interview. In order to do this, the resume must grab a reader's attention with strong selling points.
Your past and present work and extracurricular experience will be crucial to persuade an employer that you have what they need. Emphasize outcomes achieved in paid, unpaid, internship and volunteer settings. All of these have relevance on your resume if you gained skills an employer wants.
Construction and Layout
There is no one "right" way to write a resume, but take the time to produce a quality product.
NOTE: Most employers spend less than one minute scanning a resume in order to determine if it's worth a second look.
Design your resume so it says the most about you in the fewest words. Reflect your uniqueness and emphasize your assets. One page is strongly recommended but some people require two if they have gained a great deal of relevant experience.
Avoid colored or textured paper. We scan all of our documents and plain white paper provides us with a clean copy that we can send to prospective employers.
Be consistent with your format - margins, font, italicizing and capitalizing. Avoid pronouns (I, you, we) and write in phrases that don't require a period at the end. Use white space, bold type, bullets and italics to draw the reader's eye down the page and make it visually attractive.
- Contact Information
- Objective (Optional)
- Course Highlights (Optional)
- Activities, Honors and Awards (Optional)
- Community Service
- Skills Summary / Accomplishments (Optional)
- Chronological (Reverse Date Order)
Most popular; easy to prepare
Good for recent graduates with less work experience
Be selective; don't include all experiences
- Functional (Grouped by Skill Category)
Good for career changers
Organizes skills and experiences under topical headings
- Use action verbs
- Use concise phrases led by bullets
- Be consistent in tense
- Proofread (eliminate errors)
- Avoid long paragraphs
- Edit ruthlessly
- Review job descriptions to determine required skills and knowledge
- Evaluate your experience from the employer's point of view
- Emphasize skills and experiences related to the job objective
- Use the vocabulary of your desired field or industry
- Use numbers to quantify achievements