Everyone looking to start a career or find a new job has one thing in common – they have to build a resume. Whether you’ve been working for 40 years or you’re just out of high school, you can’t make it in the door without first submitting this important piece of paper. This document will either be your ticket to an interview or your reason for rejection. Because of this pressure, you want to make sure you assemble it correctly. While there’s more to know related to style and layout, the sections below will explain what information you should include on your resume. Quick tip: don’t make it more than a page in length.
No, this doesn’t mean your birthdate or social security number. It’s the basic identifying information to tell the employer your name and how to get in contact with you. Make sure your full name is included as well as your phone number and professional email address. If your email address is a student account or something embarrassing you made in middle school, create a new, simpler address through a credible serve like Gmail to appear more professional.
If you’re still in high school, include your high school information. That’s the only time it should find its way on your resume. Everything after, like college or technical school, should be listed because it provides a better example of your skills and background. Be sure to list the name of your educational institution, where it is, the dates you attended/graduated, and areas of study. If you received any relevant honors or certifications, include them here as well.
Most often, previous experience is listed in a reverse chronological format, starting with the most recent employer and working backward. In some cases, depending on your experience, it might make sense to place similar skilled positions together to show off what you can do as the main focus instead of when you did them.
Similar to education listing, make sure you include the name of the company, where it’s located, when you worked there, and your position title. It’s also helpful to list a brief list of what you did in the position beneath each item. This can help connect your past work to the position you’re trying to get. Keep everything but your current position in past tense.
Contact information, education, and experience are the essential areas, but often they don’t make a complete resume. To round it out, consider adding some of the sections below:
- Hobbies – let the employers know your interests and what you like to do, especially if they relate to the company and/or position
- Volunteer work – this is great to include to represent an altruistic attitude and selfless personality, which many employers desire in an employee
- Objective – this is a concise explanation of what you’re trying to accomplish, i.e. gain employment with this company
- Skills – if your experience doesn’t touch on all your capabilities, this is a great way to list what else you can do, including different software you’re trained in
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