A résumé is a one-page summary of your work and school experiences. Employers match your résumé against their job openings to evaluate if you'd be a good fit. As such, it's important to make your résumé a good representation of yourself. Here's how to step by step:
1. Decide Which Type Of Résumé You Want.
Résumé types vary, so you might want to consider more than one format of résumé if you're applying for multiple jobs.
If you want to mention your experiences according to the order in which they took place, you might consider writing them in chronological style.
Functional is a type of résumé that lists your experiences according to skill. This is the format to use if you're changing your career direction (and lack direct work experience). Because it displays your skills first, your work experience, or lack thereof, is not the main focus.
Combination combines the best aspects of the chronological and functional styles. It emphasizes both skills and accomplishments, and recent work history.
2. Create A Header.
A header should include your name, phone number, and email address. You can also include your mailing address, but leave it out if you plan to post your résumé online.
Use a phone number that you plan to answer and change your voicemail to a more professional message if necessary.
Make sure your email address is professional. If your current email address, for example, is [email protected] or [email protected], it's time to set up a new email, such as [email protected] or [email protected]
3. Write A Summary.
In one or two sentences, summarize your work experience and relevant skills. Keep this strong and simple.
The summary can be useful to explain why you're applying for a role that is a departure from your career path.
4. List Your Experiences Or Skills.
For a chronological/combination résumé, list your experiences.
Starting with your most recent or current job, list your previous work experiences.
This section shows where you have worked and when. It also states specific accomplishments for each position or job.
Pick experiences that seem most relevant to the position you seek. For inspiration, think of your full-time or part-time work, summer jobs, occasional jobs, internships, fieldwork, and special projects.
Always start each achievement with an accomplishment verb, like accelerated, achieved, expanded, influenced, solved, maintained, generated, effected, advised, controlled, trained, or utilized.
Southwestern Writing Center, Peer Writing Tutor, Yuma, AZ
April 2014–Present- Tutored students in writing for all disciplines.- Critiqued peers' writing.
For functional/combination résumé, list your skills.
The "skills" section of your résumé is a place where you can show your strengths and individuality. Start by stating each skill. Then back it up with a two- to the three-line explanation of how you learned that skill or why you believe you have it. Make these entries short, clear, and to the point.
List skills that are most relevant to the job you seek. Think about what the employer is looking for concerning what you've done and who you are as a person.
Don't forget to list computer programs you've had experience with; proficiency can be seen as added value.
Self-Motivated: Proactively organized volunteers to assist with distribution at the community food bank.
Bookkeeping: Maintained accurate, detailed inventory reports at the school library and subsequently won the Top Librarian Assistant award three months straight for Brown County.
5. List Your Activities.
List activities in which you have participated and include what your specific role was in each.
This is the place to note membership or leadership positions in clubs, organizations of any kind, athletic teams, community organizations, and so on.
Track Team: Team Captain, Senior Year. Fall 2016–Spring 2017.
Drama Club: "Crazy for You" and "West Side Story." Fall 2017 and 2018.
6. List Your Education.
List the schools you've attended, starting with the most recent one. Include details such as GPA, class rank, or special awards.
Add any other educational experiences, such as training programs, community college or summer courses, and so on.
Oldham County High School, Oldham, PA. 3.8 GPA. Anticipated Graduation: June 2019.
Bellville Adult Education, Bellville, NY. Introduction to Web Design. September 2017.
7. List Your Personal Interests.
This section shows you're a well-rounded person who people would want to know and work with.
Employers often use this section at the start of an interview to break the ice.
Casual interests are better not to list (e.g., napping, watching reality TV, gossiping).
This résumé step is considered optional. If you feel your résumé is already too long, feel free to leave it off.
Ceramics, camping, reading, soccer, automotive repair, carpentry
SUBMITTING YOUR RÉSUMÉ
When it comes to applying for a job, there are several ways you can share your résumé with an employer. Make sure you're aware of these dos and don'ts to ensure your hard work is represented clearly.
Saving Your Résumé As A PDF
Most employers prefer to receive résumés in the Portable Document Format (PDF). To create yours, look for the "Save as PDF" or "Print to PDF" option in your word processor. Review the file carefully to make sure your formatting is preserved.
Emailing A Résumé
When emailing a résumé, you will likely be asked to send it as an attachment. Review the job listing carefully to see if there is a preferred format; most likely, employers will ask for a PDF.
Posting A Résumé
When submitting your résumé to a human resources website, review the upload instructions; the PDF is the most common format here as well.
And lastly, if you're posting your résumé or portfolio to a job website, be sure to conceal your contact information by activating the privacy settings offered on most job sites or by providing only an email address. Posting personal information on the web could attract unwanted attention.
PRINTING YOUR RÉSUMÉ
It's a good idea to have printed copies of your résumé on hand when you go on interviews. Start with a well-formatted document and make sure it has been proofread. You also want to make sure it's the same version that you submitted as part of your application. Use high-quality paper rather than regular copy paper; it will make a much better impression.