Your resume is your marketing tool. It's a concise work history, list of accomplishments, and education that you present to a potential employer. Writing a resume takes time and attention to detail.
The way you lay out your resume is really a matter of preference, but keep in mind that you want it to be as easy to read as possible, so leave a lot of white space. Usually, one starts with their contact information at the top. Make sure all your contact information is correct.
Your contact information is usually followed by a short description of your qualifications or skills that can be applied to the position you are seeking. That is usually followed by your work history, then your education and any achievements or professional associations you below to.
Here are some ways to tackle each section of your resume.
Here's where you get to tell the employer what you'd like to do. Whatever the type of position you are seeking, make sure it's clear. Also, include experience and skills you've attained in your past work to show how you qualify. Here's an example: Seeking a sales management position that allows me to use my skills and experience in motivating staff, generating loyal customers, and project management to achieve and exceed XYZ Company's sales projections.
Starting with your most recent position (including the job you have now, if applicable) list the jobs you've had in descending order. Make sure you list the title and the duration and dates you were employed at the company or organization.
Describe what your role was in the job. Use point form sentences or bullets and keep the phrases short and to the point. If you are a Team Leader in a call centre, your work history might look like this:
Call Centre Accounts Team Leader: January 2001-May 2005
- Responded to escalated calls from XYZ company clients regarding their accounts.
- Expedited requests for technicians to visit clients.
- Participated in in-house projects (testing of billing system and call back system.)
Call Centre Accounts Representative: June 1999-January 2001
- Responded to calls from XYZ company clients. Evaluated which calls had to be escalated.
- Ensured that client database information was updated and accurate.
- Selected from a choice of 15 candidates and trained for team leader position. Promoted January 2001.
Your education should be listed in reverse chronological order as well, with your most recent achievements at the top. Usually, your high school education doesn't need to be listed if you have post secondary education. If however, you are just entering the work world and don't have any completed post-secondary education, it's acceptable to list your high school education.
Professional Associations, Affiliations, Skills, Achievements:
If you belong to a professional association, make sure you list that on your resume. A professional association would be a group as it pertains to your work, like the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario.
Usually, participation in groups that are personal or hobbies are not listed.
Make sure you also include a list of skills, such as your level of computer skills, and additional languages you speak, First Aid certification (if it's required for the position,) etc.
Achievements you might want to include are any professional papers you've written, awards you've received, etc.
By presenting a resume that's easy to read, concise, and clear, you present yourself as a professional candidate. Remember to use a nice quality of plain paper, an easy to read font, and lots of white space on your resume.