What is included in the resume content?
Use the categories below which are most appropriate to your situation.
In order for a resume to make a positive impression, you must develop a theme. Do you want to show your extensive work history? Do you want to highlight your educational background or stress your skills/qualifications and achievements as well as duties and responsibilities. For more information, link to Organization and/or Resume Format.
The heading is always at the center or the left-hand side of the resume or near the top of the page. List your name, temporary or permanent street address and e-mail address. Do not forget to include your home or work telephone number if you are comfortable with prospective employers calling. If using an answering machine be certain you have recorded a message that is clear, concise and businesslike.
Including a "job objective" is optional but highly recommended. This indicates what your job goal is; be specific. In twelve words or less, clearly state what type of job you want. Avoid overused phrases, such as "utilizing my skills" or "offering a potential to grow" without being specific about how to accomplish that goal.
Indicate the school or college you have attended, any seminars, workshops, military training or special courses you have taken. If you have taken college courses, list the college, city, major, most recent degree awarded and when you graduated. You may also list your grade point average (G.P.A.), if desired but specify on what scale (e.g., 3.5 on a 4.0 scale). If you are just beginning college, list the high school, as well as any significant college courses you have studied. If you have been out of high school for a number of years, omit the high school; a significant career history may be more meaningful. If your career history is more important than the education, list the experience first and place the education later in the resume.
Employment, Work History, Experiences, Work Experiences, Military or Volunteer Positions.
(Need not be paid to be included.) This is a critical section of the resume and probably the most extensive area. Begin with your current or most recent job and use reverse chronological order. List the information in this order:
Name of the employer and dates (if applicable)
City and state of the employer
A summary of your accomplishments and responsibilities
For a military entry, current or most recent rank and job classification
When writing the summary of accomplishments and responsibilities, explain concisely the duties relevant to the position you are seeking. Emphasize the responsibilities and skills that would readily transfer to your next job. Be careful not to overstate your duties. Use action words to describe your qualifications. Use key words if you are writing a scannable resume.
Other Related Work Experience.
In today's job market, internships, apprenticeships, co-ops and other related experiences are very important. State as briefly as possible those activities which are relevant to the job for which you are applying. This information could be similar to that provided for work experience.
List certification and licenses in your field of expertise, indicating the dates and type of test taken for licensure. Include the number of the license, if appropriate.
Skills, Accomplishments or Achievements ( optional ).
If you are creating a functional resume, divide into skill headings, with specific examples bulleted under each section. Begin with the skill for which you are applying. Some of the headings may include: communication, management, leadership, customer service, financial skills, etc.
Awards and Achievements.
If you have won athletic awards, presented research at a professional conference or were recognized for community involvement or a competition then consider including them.
Memberships or Professional Organizations.
List any memberships, campus activities or professional organizations you are currently or were engaged in that relate to your career objective. Indicate office(s) held.
Hobbies or Interests ( optional ).
This section may be included if you have hobbies or interests which demonstrate and highlight skills, abilities and characteristics about you. Some examples are: work with your hands, theater, art work, travel, historic preservation, hiking or even hunting.
This section is rarely used in resumes today, but should you feel some personal information relates to the job objective, it may be included in the resume or in the cover letter.
Preparing a separate sheet of four or five professionally related references is acceptable. References are not normally included with your resume but may be furnished upon request on a separate sheet of paper. Divide references into work related, professional and personal.
Final considerations are the selection of text, fonts, paper, printing and mailing methods.
Text The most popular typefaces are ( new century schoolbook, bookman, times, courier ).
Fonts (type size). Two types are generally used, 10-point and 12-point. An exception to this could be a header typed in a large font to highlight your name.
Paper and Envelopes. Resumes, cover letters and thank you letters should be printed on a high quality cotton paper. These choices reflect your style, your attention to detail and thoroughness. Variations are acceptable in some instances if they accentuate or highlight your field of interest or expertise.
Printing Methods. Always use a quality method of printing, such as a laser printer. If you do not use this, then have your resume typeset. Use graphics very sparingly or not at all unless their use appears appropriate for the field for which you are applying.
Mailing/Distribution. If you fax a resume, use white paper. Use the largest font which comfortably fits within your resume margins. Always mail or deliver a original to the prospective employer the same day. When doing a global job search, consider the electronic resume. Some local printing companies can help with the service of on-line resumes, but consider the fees and confidentiality issues involved in this choice.
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