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A resume is a summary of qualifications as well as a marketing tool to land an interview. Because employers have limited time to look over a large number of resumes, it is important that you present your information quickly, clearly, and in a way that makes your experience relevant to the position you're applying for. You must condense your information down to its most powerful form and eliminate all errors.
AN EFFECTIVE RESUME WILL
- Focus on the employer's needs
- Stress contributions and accomplishments
- Quantify results
- Indicate your career direction and interests
- Create a favorable first impression
- Be appealing to the eye, concise, easy to read, and professional looking
- Communicate that you are responsible and focused
- Be completely error-free
GENERAL RESUME GUIDELINES
- YOUR RESUME IS A ROAD MAP Titles, companies and dates should stand out to help the viewer quickly navigate through your experience to understand your career progression. The resume is not an exhaustive list of every internship and job you have ever had. It is not necessary to list every experience.
◦ If you have had multiple positions within a company, first list the total duration within the company for dates employed. Then, next to different titles, list the dates within position. This will allow a potential employer to quickly see how long you were at a company — hiring managers like to see longevity.
- TAILOR YOUR RESUME for the job/field to which you are applying. If you have a sales and marketing background, and are applying to strictly a sales role, make sure you showcase your sales strengths. You can have multiple resumes for the different types of roles that are of interest to you.
- YOUR RESUME SHOULD TEASE your skills and experience and highlight your accomplishments. Quantify your accomplishments when possible. If you have multiple key accomplishments, you may choose to create a separate subsection to distinguish from your duties. There is no need to list every function of your responsibilities, unless it is relevant to the role. Your resume gets you in the door, and you can sell yourself with additional information once you are in the interview.
- USE ACTION WORDS Bullets should begin with a variety of descriptive action words, and be in phrases, not full sentences. THey should be in present tense for your current company and past tense for your previous companies.
- EXCLUDE HOBBIES, INTERESTS AND RELIGION/ETHNIC BACKGROUND unless it is relevant to the position to which you are applying.
- LIST 'EDUCATION' AT THE BOTTOM of the page below our work experience unless you just graduated.
- A SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS at the top of the resume is a great way for executive-level job seekers to stand out. Include 4-6 bullets or phrases highlighting skills and traits that would be of interest to the positions to which you are applying.
- Always place the most important information first
- Lengthy, detailed descriptions are a liability. Keep descriptions succinct and organized.
- Keep margins the same and at least 3/4".
- Use underlining, bold and italics strategically to break up the page, but use sparingly.
- Keep all formatting consistent (for example, font size and type, tense of verbs, layout, punctuation, etc...).
- Use professional, easy-to-read fonts such as Arial, Times or New Roman
- Resume MUST be COMPLETELY ERROR-FREE — have it proofread by at least one person.
- Hard copies of resume should be on high-quality resume paper in white, ivory or pale gray.
- Resumes sent via email should .doc word documents, as some employers cannot open PDFs.
WHAT NOT TO INCLUDE ON A RESUME
- Reasons for leaving previous employers
- Social security number
- Salary history
- Physical characteristics
- Birth date
- Health problems
- Race, ethnicity, national origin
- Geographical preferences
- High school education