Résumés are a quick and effective tool to summarize your education, strengths, background, and personal information. They are a (typically) one page document potential employers will quickly screen to see if your skills, experience, and education align with the requirements and missions of the position and company for which you are applying. To make a powerful résumé, follow this guide, fill in relevant information, tailor it to highlight your strengths, and use it to propel yourself into the career of your dreams!
There are five primary sections of the résumé. These are all customizable and should be tailored for each position in which the applicant is interested.
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- Personal/Contact Information
This is the most standard portion of the résumé, as it identifies the person. This includes: name, address, phone number, and email. It is placed on the top of the résumé in large, clear writing. The address should be relevant and where you receive mail (include a PO Box, if necessary). The phone number should have a professional-sounding voicemail. (Example: Hello, this is Jane Doe. I cannot come to the phone right now, so please leave a message and I will return your call. Thank you.) The email should be professional (avoid things like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com) and checked daily.
123 Main Street, Anywhere, US, 12345
Phone: (123) 345-7890
This should be a summarization of the applicant, as a professional. It highlights skills, accomplishments, and explains why the applicant is the best fit for the job. This should be no longer than five sentences. This allows a potential employer to know what is contained in the résumé, and is often the deciding factor of whether or not the résumé should be considered.
- Use action words (accomplished, facilitated, coordinated, reduced, trained, led, experienced, designed, managed, created, etc.).
- Use quantifiable amounts (85%, 39 customers, 2000 units of inventory, etc.).
Example: A qualified, experienced manager and secretary with extensive Microsoft Office Skills and a typing speed of 51 WPM. Worked on experiential research in Computer Technologies by creating an online program that enhanced customer satisfaction by 95%. Public Relation Specialist who managed negative feedback by targeting internal issues and getting responses from prior disgruntled customers for an 85% turnover in opinion.
List all degrees, diplomas and certificates earned by name. Indicate the date (year) earned, name of school, location, and (optional) GPA. Here, core classes, awards, or special projects may be included. Degrees/diplomas/certificates in progress, may be included, as well. If the applicant has more than one degree, they should be listed in reverse chronological order. If no education has been started or completed, disregard this section.
Example: Communications and Public Relations, ABC University, Schooltown, USA, 2005.
- GPA: 3.78; Focused on: interpersonal communications, social skills and etiquette, public relations, and curating a positive work image for affiliates and companies.
- Work Experience
This is often the meat of the résumé, as it not only details previous places of employment, but allows one to highlight how his/her skills are beneficial to a workplace. List the position held, the name of the company, the time (in years) spent with the company, and briefly explain the responsibilities while working in the position. Use action words and quantifiable amounts when describing responsibilities to demonstrate capability.
Managing Assistant, Group XYZ
- January 2020—Present
- Managed meetings, community projects, and research for interpersonal relationships.
- Managed a budget of $5,000 for a community outreach and networking project.
- Organized meetings for teammates and supervisors utilizing MeetHere Software.
Computer Research Assistant, DEF Tech and Associates
- January 2010—December 2019
- Led research for computer development. Developed software to enhance consumer relations by generating immediate network feedback.
- Developed ConsumerRightWay to facilitate a 95% increase in consumer relations.
- January 2020—Present
- Awards and Training
This portion of the résumé lists accomplishments and extra workshops/training completed that were not mentioned anywhere else in the résumé. This is the applicant’s opportunity to show notable work and demonstrate why he/she has an edge over other applicants. This is a fairly flexible section, and may be omitted, if deemed necessary.
Awarded, “Outstanding Public Relations” with the National Association of Public Relations, 2014.
- Awarded for “Excellent Interpersonal Skills” and “Great Work with Customers and Relations” for development of ConsumerRightway.
Completed “Consumer Excellence” Workshops Sponsored by the Association of Sales Work, 2017.
- Completed five sessions entitled, “The Customer is Right,” “How to Sell I and II,” and “Fixing Consumer Relations, I and II.” These focused on improving management skills to increase sales efficiency.