Whether you are a recent college graduate, a seasoned professional, or somewhere else on your career journey, a well-formed resume is important to your job search. A resume is a way to market yourself to prospective employers and show them your accomplishments and capabilities. Following these tips can help you ensure that you are approaching your resume development in a thoughtful manner.
Before you begin writing or revising your resume, you should take your audience into account. What job are you seeking? Who would you like to work for? What are they looking for in an applicant? You should take stock of your own skills and experience to understand how your skills will serve you in the industry.
What to Include
- Contact information. It is important that prospective employers have a way to reach you, so include your name, address, phone number, and email address. You can also include a link to your personal website or blog if it is relevant to your job search.
- Summary or objective. This is a brief paragraph that highlights your skills and accomplishments or your main career goal.
- Education. List colleges you’ve attended, their location, your degree/major, GPA (if 3.0 and above), and any graduation honors you may have received. This, as well as other information such as work experience, is typically done in reverse chronological order.
- Experience. This refers not only to paid jobs, but to other experiences such as volunteer work and projects as well. Mention your responsibilities and accomplishments for each experience. If there is information that you can quantify, such as increased customer satisfaction metrics or a budget for a project you’ve managed, be sure to include this with the appropriate place of work.
- Skills. Use this section of your resume to list skills you have learned that are relevant, such as technical knowledge and certifications.
- Other information. If you have been involved with an activity or association, you can list those, any significant positions you’ve held, and the dates that you were involved. Additionally, if you have won awards or had your work published, you should include this information.
Resumes are not meant to stay the same throughout your career. Even if you are not actively seeking a job, it is important to update your resume when there is a major change in your career. These changes include starting a new job, being promoted at your current job, completing a project, getting laid off from a job, and gaining a relevant skill. This will make it easier to have an updated resume when a new opportunity arises.
It is also important to make your resume concise and easy to scan. Employers will spend an average of six seconds looking at your resume, and so it needs to capture their attention as quickly as possible.
Bortz. D. (n.d.). 5 critical parts of a resume. Retrieved from
Bortz, D. (n.d.). 5 times in your life you should update your resume. Retrieved from
Drexel University Steinbright Career Development Center. (n.d.) Resumes. Retrieved from
Drexel University Steinbright Career Development Center. (n.d.). Writing your resume. Retrieved from
Gaynor, J. (n.d.). How to use numbers to make your resume more impressive to potential employers.