My supervisor works with many students on resume-building. My supervisor has given me many tips on how to effectively write a resume. I hope these tips help you out as well.
Resumes differ for each person depending on what jobs they want to apply for. If you plan on applying for creative jobs or a graphic design position, then this tip won’t be for you. It has been said that human resource professionals take about 30 seconds to look at each resume. With that being said, keep the format of your resume clean, consistent, and concise. Of course, if you’re applying for a graphic design position, this tip won’t apply to you. In general, however, you don’t need a fancy font or 10 different colors. Human resource professionals love a simple heading and a clear resume. They don’t want all different fonts and colors to distract them.
Your heading should have your full name, your address, and your contact information. I recommend having a professional email. Please do not use old yahoo email addresses that you used many years ago to sign up for Myspace, Aim, or Facebook. Create a gmail account with your name in it, and steer away from addresses that include childish words such as “baby" or “xoxo." I would also recommend including a phone number as well so employers will have two ways of contacting you.
Most people recommend including an objective. In your objective, which should be one or two sentences, discuss what you’re looking for and mention a little information about your skills. For example, if you were applying to be an office assistant, you can let them know that you’re looking for an office assistant position and you have 5 years of experience with all Microsoft programs.
If you don’t think you have enough experience for a specific job, then put your education first. On your resume, put the amount of years that you attended university, and include your program of study. Also, include the year you graduated, or the year that you will graduate. This will show the company that school was your top priority. When you list school as your top priority, try to list the skills you learned or utilized while in school so they know that your education will pay off when you acquire a specific position. The “skills" section can be right after the “education" section. If you were on Dean’s List, or if you won any awards or participated in extracurricular activities that relate to the position you are applying for, then include that as well in a different section. You can either call it “Awards & Achievements" or “Related Experience," and you can put this at the end of your resume.
Every resume should be tailored to the position that you’re applying for. You can have your experience right after your education, or you can have it at the top of your resume, right after your objective section. Whatever position you are applying for, utilize the keywords that are in the job description. If you’re applying for an office job that requires Microsoft experience, and your previous job was a work study position with Microsoft experience, include those keywords in your description. Let the employers know that you gained experience in Microsoft programs. You can even list that as a skill in your “skills" section. Basically, use keywords that have been featured in the job postings.
Keep your experience from most recent to least recent – reverse chronological order. Make sure your experiences are labeled with the months or years that you worked there, as well as the employer name, the title of your position, and the location. I usually suggest including experience from the last five years. If you have a ton of experience from the last five years, only include the ones that are beneficial to the position you are applying for. If you’re applying for an office job, it wouldn’t be ideal to include your babysitting position or your part time position at a fast food restaurant, even if they were within the last five years.
Finally, keep your resume on white paper. Human resource professionals like simplicity, and they do not want resumes on colored paper. Keep it simple.
These are the tips that my supervisor usually recommends to her students, as well as the tips I’ve been giving to my students. Of course, if there are any other tips that you think I should include, let me know!