Are you looking to land that first job out of college? Let’s take a look at the critical components to a well-structured resume.
Starting with the header, you will want to make sure you provide some basic contact information about yourself. You will want to include your name, phone number, address, and email. If you have credentials such as RN or MBA, make sure that you include that as a suffix to your name (i.e. Tom Smith, MBA).
Looking at the education section, there are a few items we want to consider here.
First off, you will want to list your education going from the highest level of education to the lowest level. If you have a college degree, you can go ahead and exclude high school. If you have a GPA higher than 3.25 (preferably 3.5), please list this as well.
Another good factor to include is any awards or accolade that you earned while attending school. One example could be that you earned the Dean’s award. In addition to the awards, employers also like to see your graduation month and year.
For professional organizations, you will want to list any organizations that you have been a part of or that you held/hold rank in. An example could be the American Marketing Association (https://www.ama.org/Pages/default.aspx).
You will want to list the name of the organization. List any rank you held/hold at the organization such as CEO, CFO, etc… Also include the time frame. You will want to list this as a starting year and ending year. If less than a year, you will want to add the month in addition to the year. Last, include a short description of your duties/activities.
Regarding the experience section you will want to list experience from newest to oldest. You will also want to include your title and timeframe. If you are still working at a particular company, list “Current” as your end date. You will also want to make sure to list the company and location. You don’t need the full address. Just include city and state. Your experience description should use action language and outline key points. Make sure to be honest but direct the language to activities that would complement the position you are applying for.
For new graduates, you should only list relevant jobs you have had unless you haven’t worked for many companies, then it is ok to list the other positions (including internships) as long as they have some relevance or some correlation in skill-set to match the position.
In the aspect of skills, there are two types, hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills involve proficiencies such as web design, marketing, MS office, etc… Soft skills involve proficiencies in areas such as teamwork, leadership and so on. It is important to list your skills starting with the most relatable for the job you are applying to the least.
If the position being applied for were a technical one, then the below example provided is properly sorted. As you can, the softer skills are toward the bottom.
For volunteer activities, you want to show employers what you have done for your community.
Make sure to list newest to oldest. I recommend at least two if possible. You will want to list the activity, the timeframe, the organization (with city, state), and the description of volunteer work.
References are a great way for the employer to evaluate you even further, so make sure you have this for them. It is important with your references to list name and credentials, company, title, phone and email.
Please sort your list from most relatable to the position to the least. Make sure to get permission from your references prior to use and tell them the position you are applying for.
Remember that if your resume is going to bleed over into three pages, go ahead and place your references on its own page.
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