Your resume acts as an advertisement for your skills and qualifications. It is the way job seekers introduce themselves to potential employers.
The next step is an interview where you can sell yourself beyond what is shown on your resume. Sometimes initial interviews are done over the phone and other times they are in-person interviews.
Make sure your resume clearly outlines your skills, experience, and achievements and shows how your skills match the requirements of the job.
This can be especially challenging in fields like technology where your specific technical skills and level of expertise will be measured against others applying for the same position.
If you are applying for a job in technology, you should include a “Technical Skills and Proficiencies” section. List all the technology platforms and tools you have experience using.
Make sure that the design of your resume is compelling. You can take the time to research the different recommended formats by industry, or you can take advantage of the resume templates shown here.
Using templates will make your life easier. You can save time by using pre-defined designs by industry and job title.
There are three basic types of professional resume formats based on how you organize and emphasize the information on the page.
Reverse chronological resumes list all employment and education, beginning with the most recent and working backward. This is the most traditional and most recognizable type of resume.
Functional or skill-based resumes focus on what you can do rather than outlining in detail what you have done and when you did it. These types of resumes are helpful for those who have been out of the workforce for a period to avoid showing glaring lapses of employment.
Remember you will have a chance, if you are granted an interview, to explain any gaps. A good example of someone who might benefit from a functional resume is a stay-at-home mom who decides to get back into the workforce.
Hybrid or Combination resumes are exactly what they sound like: a mixture of reverse chronological and functional resume formats.
Obviously, you want to include your contact information on your resume. This information is usually put in the header.
Even though this is basic information, there are a few things to consider. You should decide if you want to use your full name or a nickname, like Anthony or Tony.
You will want to be consistent with how you represent your name on your resume, especially on platforms like LinkedIn.
In addition to your name, you need to include your phone number and email address. Use a phone number that you have regular access to as well as control over who answers it.
You might want to include your social media profiles. If you have a website or blog that is relevant to your job search, include the URLs to those as well.
Objective or Summary
The top part of your resume is an important piece of real estate. Why is that? Most recruiters will spend just a few seconds scanning resumes.
They are looking for very specific information quickly to see if you are a match for an open position. If your qualifications don’t jump off the page in the form of an objective or summary, your resume will more than likely end up in the garbage pail.
Use that prime real estate creatively and carefully to increase your chances of getting an interview.
A career summary should include clear and concise statements that focus on your most important abilities, qualities, and achievements.
An objective lets potential employers know what type of position you are looking for. Using an objective instead of a summary is helpful to people who arenew to the workforce and don’t have much work history to summarize.
You should list your education in reverse-chronological order so that your most recent degree is first on your resume. You will also want to include the degree you earned, your major, the name of the university, and honors or awards received.
Unless you have recently graduated from college with a GPA over 3.5, you don’t need to include your GPA.
List your work experience in reverse-chronological order starting with your most recent job. If you are a recent college graduate, you can include any internships and volunteer work in this section.
Include the following information for each position held:
- Company name and URL
- Job title
- Start and end date including month and year
- Job description
If you want to, you can put “References available upon request” at the end of your resume.