A resume is a brief, concise document that presents, and effectively sells, your most relevant and positive credentials for employment, admission to graduate school, consideration for a scholarship or fellowship, or other professional purpose.
An effective resume gets you an interview, not a job.
An employer will usually spend 5-7 seconds reviewing your resume, so the content of your resume must be clear, concise, and targeted to the type of job for which you are applying.
If your resume has a typo or grammatical error, it will probably jump off the page to an employer, and this is a way to weed you out of a candidate pool. Your resume may be the only chance you get to make an impression, so make it a good one.
Writing a resume is more than just putting your education and work history on paper. It is a piece of advertising. It should look and read like an effective advertising copy or a good press release. It will grab attention and motivate the reader to take action.
- Immediately impress the reader.
- Are visually appealing and easy to read.
- Are concise; Indicate your career goals.
- Focus on the employer's needs.
- Communicate your job-related abilities and skills - not job duties.
- Stress your productivity in terms of your potential for solving employers' problems.
- Communicate that you are a responsible and motivated person who gets things done.
General Resume Guidelines
The following are guidelines for your resume. Remember, the function of your resume is to obtain a job interview. Use your common sense and imagination to highlight your education and experience in a well-focused resume.
A one-page resume is sufficient for the recent graduate. If you have extensive RELEVANT experience, two pages are reasonable. Feature the most important information on the first page.
Layout determines whether a resume is read. Make sure the resume is well organized and concise. Avoid dense text that is difficult to read. Use high-quality white or off-white paper. Laser-print your resume and have it professionally copied.
Target your resume to a particular objective and audience. Present information in descending order of importance - prominently feature your strengths. Include information in your resume that you wish to elaborate on in an interview. Accentuate the positive and use action verbs to describe your experience.
Spelling and Grammar Check
Keep the correct verb tense. Use past tense for previous jobs and present tense for current jobs. Don’t use personal pronouns.
You may be wondering if you need a cover letter. The answer is always YES. Cover letters are a very important part of 'getting in the door'. In many instances, it's how you make your first impression.