A resume is essentially a quick guide that briefly sums up your professional life.
For any jobseeker, it’s helpful to have one on hand to use for an application or to present to a potential employer.
Here are the sections you should consider including when building your own resume:
Name and Contact Information
This might seem like a no-brainer, but providing a way to be contacted is important. If a hiring manager likes your resume, you want them to be able to reach you about it.
Be sure to add both your best phone number and an email address you check regularly. You might want to consider creating a new email account that is designated for professional communication. Make sure the email’s handle is something simple and casts you in a positive light. An easy go-to would be using a combination of your first and last names.
You might also want to consider adding your geographical location, whether that be your full home address or just your city and state. Additionally, if you have an online portfolio or personal website, this would be the section in which to include it.
Note: If you choose to post your resume online or in another public place, it may be wise to remove the contact information section (except your name) to protect your privacy. Chances are good that interested employers will be able to contact you right through the site via direct message or contact form.
Work History and Experience
This section could easily get out of hand, especially if you’ve held quite a few jobs in your life. To prevent pages and pages of job descriptions, keep details to the point and stick to only what’s relevant.
CareerBuilder recommends covering your last 10 years of work history in your resume. However, there are some exceptions and nuances to that rule of thumb. If you’ve held a lot of positions in the last decade, consider including only the five most relevant to the current job for which you are applying. Keep in mind, you can have multiple versions of your resume with different variations of your work history based on the industries or skills you want to highlight.
You probably won’t list the earliest jobs you worked in your teenage years, as these normally don’t pertain to your career path or seem as impressive as more recent jobs. However, if you haven’t had a full 10 years of experience or held 5 positions in that time, you may want to consider including that early experience. A lot of the positions typically held by students still teach valuable skills that apply to even the highest professional levels. Plus, listing some of your first jobs to help fill out your experience shows you are employable, regardless of how closely they align with your current career goals.
The jobs you want to include should be listed with the most recent being first and dating back from there. Include your job title, company, start date to end date and a few brief bullet points that showcase the tasks for which you were responsible. Be as succinct as possible and try to incorporate any keywords you know employers are looking for within your industry.
This portion of your resume should be kept simple. List your highest level of education first. If you completed college, don’t worry about going back any further.
Include the name of the school, the degree you earned (or are in the process of earning) and your graduation date (or expected graduation date).
If your GPA was above 3.0, consider sharing it in this section. Also, this could be a great place to list any school organizations you were part of or awards you received during your time there.
Although these aren’t necessary, they could help to sell why you are qualified for a position. Do not lengthen your resume to include these, but if you have room on the page, consider filling it with one of these bonus sections.
This is where you can share some of your desirable skills that employers are looking for in your industry. These could range from being proficient with certain software programs to having specialized communication skills to listing qualities that make you an excellent teammate.
Sometimes, volunteer work can provide you with relevant experience for your career path. If you’ve gifted any of your time to organizations, you can include them in this section. Be sure to put the organization name, length of time you spent with them and any roles or responsibilities you held while there.
Awards and Certifications
If you’ve earned any recognition for your work, show it off! This could really set you apart and exemplify your dedication to doing a good job. In your description, list the title of the award or certification, the organization that presented it to you and the date when you earned it. Additionally, consider adding a sentence explaining how it was earned; if you don’t have room for this, no worries, it makes a great conversation piece during your interview!
Like an elevator pitch, this is a one to two sentence summary of who you are as an employee and what your ultimate career goal is. This provides potential employers with an idea of what you are about and where you want to go.
As you choose what to include and how to structure it all, remember to keep it simple. While you do want to stand out, it won’t do any good if there is too much information or it is hard to read. Include only what is important and organize it clearly. Add your personality without going over the top. If you aren’t sure where to begin, stop into your nearest Remedy office to meet with our recruiting team. We can provide you with insight on what companies are looking for, as well as help you to define your best skills and properly structure your work history.