Everyone hates writing resumes, right? It’s boring, tedious and writing about yourself isn’t a good time for most of us. However, writing a resume doesn’t necessarily have to be as painful as root canal if you follow these simple rules:
1. Conduct a self-assessment.
List your skills, abilities and your experience and extracurricular activities. Nothing fancy here, just get all the information written down. At this point, you’re not actually writing your resume, you’re just collecting all the data.
2. Resume Content.
All your contact information should go at the top of your resume (i.e. name, address, telephone, e-mail address, website). Do not use nicknames or corny e-mail addresses (like firstname.lastname@example.org). Use a permanent address and phone number that you have access to, even if it’s not yours. If you have voice mail or an answering machine, record a neutral greeting. If you have a website, only include it if the page reflects your professional ambitions.
Your resume should have an an objective or summary that tells potential employers what type of career you are looking for. Don’t be general and make sure you tailor it to the each employer. You can view our free resume samples to get some ideas.
If you’re a new grad and/or don’t have a lot of work experience, list your educational background first. This is your strength so you want to promote this in your resume. If you a lot of experience, the Education section can come after your Work Experience section. Make sure you list your most recent education information first and include your degree, your major, the name of the institution and the yea(s) you attended. Only include your GPA if it’s a strength. List any honors your received, and the year you received them. You can view our free sample resume to get some ideas.
Provide potential employers with a brief history of your work and the skills you have learned. Use action words to describe your job duties. In the work experiencesection, list your most recent job first and work backwards from that. Make sure you include job title, company name, location, dates of employment, work duties, skills, and achievements. You can view our free sample resumes to get some ideas.
Other information you might want to add include skills or competencies, volunteer work, participation in sports, and interests. Listing your memberships in clubs/organizations, especially political, is risky and should only be done if you are sure it will help you.
With respect to references, do not include your references on your resume. You may note at the bottom of your resume: “References available upon request.”
Run a spell check and a grammar on your computer before anyone sees your resume.
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