How To Create A Professional Resume

Trying to figure out how to format your first professional resume? Writing a resume is pretty straightforward since most resumes include the same sections, regardless of what type of job you’re applying for. Here are the basic guidelines for each of them:

Basic Info

This should be the first thing you write on your resume. It should include a block with your name, your address, your phone number and email address. Write down actual contact information that you’ll be checking regularly, not phone numbers or email addresses where you don’t see your messages. This is the information the hiring manager will use to get in touch with you if he or she decides to ask you for an interview. While we’re on the basic information subject, you should also have a heading on top of your resume pages which includes your name and the page number. That way the hiring manager can put the information back together in case the pages get separated.

Objective

This is a simple one-line statement where you say which job you are applying for. A good format is as follows: “Goal: A position as (Job Title) at Company X where my skills in (elaborate on your skills) can contribute to your company’s success.”

Education

Here you can list (in bullet format) relevant information on your education. This should include your highest level of education, any degrees earned, your GPA if it is recent and reasonably high, and anything else of interest (honor society membership, for instance). You can include certifications here or in a separate section.

Certifications

You may include certifications in your education section, but you may prefer to draw special attention tot hem by putting them under their own heading. Certifications are particularly important in high tech fields like programming, network administration or in medical disciplines. You may not have any certifications depending on your field. If you don’t, just skip this section altogether.

Work History

This is the section where you can talk about your work experiences. For most applicants it will be the largest part of the resume. Don’t just list your job duties here, also say what you accomplished at your job. If you don’t have a lot of actual job experience you can also list volunteer work here or school projects where you had a lot of responsibility.

References

There’s some debate over whether you should even have this section. Some people think it’s a good idea, but we’ve heard experts say that there’s no reason to provide references unless you’re asked for them. If you do provide them, one to three is an acceptable number of references.

Skills

Use this section to put in any additional skills you didn’t have a chance to expound upon in your work experience, education, or certifications sections. If you’re looking for your first job, this section may be as long or longer than your other sections, and you may wish to put it in front of them and not behind them. This is an excellent section to talk about things which are relevant and helpful in any industry but which weren’t critical to your job duties at past occupations, for example if you’re bilingual or excel at mathematics or so on.

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