Your resume is one of the most important parts of the job seeking process.
Whether you are chosen for an interview or not depends a great deal on the professionalism demonstrated in your resume and the language you use to communicate your skills, abilities, and experience. In your resume you must put forth the strong impression that you are the best option for the companys’ employment needs.
Basic Resume Formats
There are a few basic formats worthy of consideration for writing a professional resume.
Essential Information to Include
Full name and contact information. Telephone numbers, e-mail, and street address and fax numbers if necessary. If you have a professional website, this would also be important to list. Avoid putting social networking sites that are for personal use.
Work experience related to the position you are seeking.
Work experience not directly related to the position you are seeking. This shows other skills and experiences you have and your larger picture of work history.
Education and schooling relevant to the position.
A summary of qualifications or skills and abilities you bring to the job.
Awards and recognition.
References – You may choose to say references available upon request or list them on the resume itself.
Chronological Style Resume
One traditional resume format is a Chronological presentation of your work experience and qualifications. The following is true about this format:
Lists the specifics of your work experience in reverse chronological order.
Includes work history and education.
Many organizations and human resource departments prefer this method.
Combination Style Resume
Focus on the target position / job. Present your capabilities that are required of that position.
Relate your ability to do the job regardless of when the skills were last used.
Show research about the position sought.
Include job titles and dates of employment.
There are different formats for students entering the workforce for the first time. Some formats help people moving from one level of responsibility to higher levels in the same career. Still other formats are helpful for professionals changing from one career to another.
Dealing with Awkward Points
There may be gaps in your employment history that create tension or awkwardness. If you have such gaps you may decide that the Combination Style Resume works better to draw less attention to these hiatuses of employment. Careful and creative wording can help present special circumstances in the best possible light. Honesty is the best policy if you are asked to explain times of unemployment for any reason, such as extended illness, disability, incarceration or just times when you could not find a job.
Checklist for Success
Does your resume do the following?
Clearly present your full, formal name
Contain your contact information
Present your work history in an easy to understand manner
Give a summary of your educational experience with the institutions and degrees earned
List other experiences you may have that can contribute to success on the job
List your skills, abilities, and qualifications in a clear and organized way
Provide the names of personal references if needed