Creating your résumé is the first step to getting a job. Learn exactly what goes into this important document and start your career search off on the right foot by creating your own resume.
STEP-BY-STEP RÉSUMÉ BREAKDOWN
A résumé is a one-page summary of your work and school experiences. Employers match your résumé against their job openings to evaluate if you’d be a good fit. As such, it’s important to make your résumé a good representation of yourself. Here’s how, step by step:
1. Decide Which Type Of Résumé You Want.
There are three types of résumés: chronological, functional and combination. You might want to consider more than one format of résumé if you’re applying for multiple jobs.
- Chronologicalis the most traditional format and lists experiences according to the order in which they took place. These résumés generally appeal to older readers and may be best suited for a conservative field.
- Functionalis a type of résumé that lists your experiences according to skill. This is the format to use if you’re changing career direction (and lack direct work experience). Because it displays your skills first, your work experience, or lack thereof, is not the main focus.
- Combinationcombines the best aspects of the chronological and functional styles. Be careful with length for this format; the résumé can quickly get long.
2. Create A Header.
A header should include your name, phone number and email address. You can also include your mailing address, but leave it out if you plan to post your résumé online.
- Use a phone number that you plan to answer and change your voicemail to a more professional message if necessary.
- Make sure your email address is professional. If your current email address, for example, is [email protected] or [email protected], it’s time to set up a new email, such as [email protected] or [email protected]
3. Write A Summary.
In one or two sentences, summarize your work experience and relevant skills. Keep this strong and simple.
- The summary can be useful to explain why you’re applying for a role that is a departure from your career path.
- You don’t have to include a summary, especially if your experience speaks for itself and is relevant to the jobs you’re applying for.
4. List Your Experiences Or Skills.
FOR CHRONOLOGICAL/COMBINATION RÉSUMÉS, LIST YOUR EXPERIENCES
Starting with your most recent or current job, list your previous work experiences.
- This section shows where you have worked and when. It also states specific accomplishments for each position or job.
- This is where content can make your résumé run over a page, so be selective (if necessary) about what you include.
- Pick experiences that seem most relevant to the position you seek. For inspiration, think of your full-time or part-time work, summer jobs, occasional jobs, internships, fieldwork and special projects.
- Don’t worry whether your experiences are “good enough.” Employers admire people who have worked hard in a variety of positions.
- Always start each achievement with an accomplishment verb, like accelerated, achieved, expanded, influenced, solved, maintained, generated, effected, advised, controlled, trained or utilized.
- Don’t worry if there are gaps in the timeline, but keep everything in chronological order, with most recent jobs at the top.