The most important objective when writing a resume is to give the company that is hiring a general idea of who you are and your potential value to their company. Think of a resume as a way to introduce yourself without actually being in the room. The best way to do this is by covering your career background, your training, your education, your previous jobs, and any skills you may have. It’s very important to remember that you don’t want to overwhelm them with information about your life, but rather, give them the “highlights” of your career.
In the text below, we will cover the basic information that a good resume should cover.
Your name should appear in a bold and large font and at the very top of the resume. If a potential hiring manager is flipping through resumes, it’s better to have your name stick out than for it to blend in. In addition, be sure to center your name so it appears in the very middle at the top of the resume.
Should the employer need to reach you, your contact information should be easy to find near the top of the resume. Ideally, this should appear right underneath your name. It doesn’t need to be in a large font like your name, but it should be easy to find for someone who needs to call or email you. Your contact information should include your home address, your phone number, and your email. In some cases, it is also helpful to include links to your LinkedIn page, your Twitter handle, and your Facebook page. Giving away these things will help to show an employer that you are current with the times and open for them to check out who you are. (Note: this means that you should be aware of what a future employer may see on your social media page!)
Underneath your name and your contact information should be a simple paragraph describing who you are. The key to this introductory paragraph is to show the employer that you are professional and you have the ability to describe yourself succinctly. You should describe yourself and what you’re looking for in your next job. It’s best to write this statement in the third person and to briefly highlight subjects such as your personal values, the industries you’ve worked in, and your career goals. Be careful not to overwhelm the employer with information so try to keep this paragraph to 4-6 sentences.
Following your personal summary, your career experience should take up the majority of your resume. The main purpose of this section is to highlight the companies you worked for, the positions you held, the responsibilities you managed, the accomplishments you nailed, and the duration of your employment. Bullet points are a must in this section. Do not try to write out every little detail about each job. Simply list the very best details about the job and the “victories” that you had.
Here is an example:
ABC Software Company – Houston, TX June 2012 – October 2017
Key Tip: Be sure to include key information that will apply to the industry or job that you are applying for. Look at the qualifications for the job you are applying for and customize your resume by including tasks, responsibilities, or accomplishments that can relate.
Your education section is just as important as your job history section. This section can appear right before your job summary section or immediately after. You need to be clear about the education you had, when you graduated, and prepare for an employer to double check your school transcripts. List your education in chronological order with your most recent first. Include the college name, the degree you acquired, your G.P.A. and any awards or honors you received and the years you attended. This is not required, but you may also list any groups that you were apart of during your college experience.
Here is an example:
University of Houston 2001-2005
Bachelors, Business Administration, 3.65 GPA
Graduated cum laude and received senior project of the year award.
Secretary of Entrepreneurial Group, Volunteer for College of Business Recruiting Events, Member of Phi Theta Kappa
If you were previously in the military, have special certifications, completed special career training, or serve in your local community, you will want to share this. Additional skills and involvement will help your employer get to know you and show off some of your attributes apart from your job experience. Employers love to see a candidate that is active and giving. If you are involved in any professional groups or career related groups, you will also want to mention these opportunities. Some employers see these groups as a type of continuing education and professional development.
References are a key part to legitimizing your resume and work history. A thorough employer will ask for references and then call your references to verify the places you worked, the responsibilities you held, and the quality of work that you provided. It’s best to list 3 references that will speak highly of you and have experience working with you in a professional environment. Good examples of references include former bosses, co-workers, and mentors on this list. Avoid using family members and friends if possible. Be sure use references that will speak well of you. Listing your references on your resume is optional, but doing so, can help show your willingness to be honest. If you choose to do so, list their full name, their title, their relationship to you, their phone number and email.
Here is an example:
VP of Software Development at ABC Software Company
[email protected].com | 987-123-4567
If you need assistance with your resume, or if you’re in the hunt for a job, our team at The Rowland Group would be glad to assist you. We serve the industries of Accounting and Finance, Engineering, and Information Technology. You can contact us by calling 918.836.1900 in Tulsa and 713.715.5900 in Houston.