Developing Your Resume
Are you looking to develop your resume for the first time, or looking to update one that you've had for a few years? There are a few standard sections to always include when building out your resume.
- Prove to the employer you are worth the interview
- Focus on your strengths and accomplishments
- Target qualifications to each job you are applying for
- Keep to the point
- Arrange in chronological order
- Keep resume to one page; only expand to a second page if absolutely necessary
Sections to Include
- Identification - include your name, street address, phone number and e-mail address.
- Career Objective - a short statement that reflects your career goals as they relate to your past experiences.
- Work Experience - this should be listed in chronological order with your current and/or most recent position listed first. Make sure to highlight projects and achievements that reflect your experience that most closely matches the goals and skills outlined in the job posting.
- Special Skills - highlight your experiences with specific programs, databases or any other skills that may have been called out in the job posting. Also, include any special certifications that you have received that are relevant to the position.
Exceptions to the Rules
It is rare that one should stray from the traditional chronological resume design when creating a resume, but two groups, entry level applicants and applicants with unstable work histories, are exceptions. Entry level applicants can easily fall into the electronic abyss if they don't modify their resumes somewhat. In the Education Section, list class work that includes relevant keywords for the type of position you are seeking. Also, be sure to include internships in a Relevant Experience section that showcases your skills. This will help describe your skills more fully, as well as enable these entry level resumes to be picked up in the recruiters' search queries.
Applicants with many jobs in a short period of time may opt to create a resume with a Work Experience section and Main Accomplishments section organized by project or skill, and not by employer. This is done to emphasize thorough experience, especially technical experience, while also emphasizing the number of employers for which the work was conducted. This type of presentation is also ideal for those with massive amounts of work experience, as a chronological listing of employers may cause the resume to exceed electronic space limits imposed by some scanning and storing systems.