Resumes are your business calling card—they show your skills, and communicate the image you want to portray to a potential employer when finding a job. You will want to create a solid showcase of both your education and your experience. Here are some of the basics of a good resume:
Always include your full name, and contact information. These days most resumes are submitted online, and for privacy reasons, some people prefer not to list their full address—only a phone number and email may do. Make sure it is up to date, and don’t list inboxes that you do not check regularly. Keep your email address simple and professional for the business world—without trying to be “clever” —you might want to consider opening a free email account for employer use only.
Employment Goal/Job Objective
Have an idea of the specific position you are finding a job in, and in what business industry you wish to work. Avoid vague statements—keep it straightforward, narrow, and on topic.
Summary of Qualifications
Use a few lines (no more than about five) to summarize your business qualifications. Briefly present facts about prior work experience—not your opinion. And always remember to never, ever lie on your resume. Finding a job this way will only leave you under-qualified for the position.
Work Experience or Work History
List your previous work experience, either with job title and dates, or by relevant skills and responsibilities you had while working in that business. Don’t include jobs you had in the very distant past, nor positions that have no congruent qualifications related to finding a job in the field you are applying to.
Include all of your job-related education and/or training, beginning with the most current items. List high school only if you do not have a higher degree. If you graduated recently, with little work experience, list the following:
• Name of the school
• Degree or certificate received with dates, and course titles related to the job
• Grades, scholarships and honors.
• Extracurricular activities—this will show that you are a well-rounded candidate.
• Military education and training go here.
If more than five years has passed since graduation, you don’t need as much information. Name the school, city, state, degree or certificate, and course work (dates are optional).
Note branch of service, date of separation, your highest grade and type of discharge. Include the duties you upheld, as well as special assignments and decorations—especially those that relate to finding a job you are seeking.
Special Skills and Abilities
This is optional, but can be tremendously helpful in providing the employer with a deeper understanding of what you have to offer to their business. Anything related to the position you are applying for can help—foreign languages; computer skills and programs, and any licenses or certificates you have earned.
Simply say, “References available upon request.” Avoid listing all references on your resume. Have them on a separate sheet, always available when asked for by an employer. Arrange three to five solid business references, always speak with them for an indication of what they might say if contacted