Keep in Mind
1. Create titles that will catch the employerâ€™s eye.
Take a look at your job titles. Are they interesting and descriptive? Instead of saying you were a cashier, say you were a customer service professional, or rather than saying that youâ€™re a secretary; say you are an administrative assistant. I will give another example manager does not describe who or what a person manages. â€œSales Staff Manager or Executive Manager may be more descriptive and desirable job titles on a resume. Do not use a job title that is misleading, however. Simply think about how well the job title describes the work, and how interesting the title is.
2. Use keywords strategically.
Because many employers now scan resumes with special software programs to determine the presence of certain keywords as a way of filtering them before a select few get passed along to an actual human being, you want to be sure that your resume contains all of the proper keywords for your industry, and the particular job for which you are applying. Look at what words the employer uses in the advertisement. If an employer lists research as a required skill, be sure to include the word â€˜researchâ€™ or â€˜researchedâ€™ in at least one job description or skill set you include on your resume.
3. Use action verbs to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments.
This will highlight your skills and your ability to do the job for which you are applying. Choose verbs that describe your responsibilities and then make sure to begin the descriptions of your duties with these verbs. For example, if you were a receptionist, you may want to use verbs such as 'scheduled', 'assisted', and 'provided'. You can do this by saying you â€˜scheduled appointmentsâ€™ â€˜assisted clientsâ€™ and â€˜provided administrative support.â€™
4. Spell check and proofread your resume.
This step cannot be overemphasized. Proofread your resume several times. Have someone else proofread it. Then, have another person further removed from you read it. Spelling and grammar errors in a resume will get it discarded regardless of your skills and experience. Watch out for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, incorrect contact information, typos, and misuse of apostrophes, plurals, and possessives.
Follow a Proper Sequence
1. Give your employment history.
Your resume should follow a chronological order with your most recent employment first. Include the name of the company, its location, your title, your duties and responsibilities while working there, and the dates that you were employed there. It may be beneficial to list your title first, to show off your position in each job. You can also choose to list the company name first. Regardless of what you choose, be consistent down your entire list.
2. Provide your education history.
Same as with your jobs, you should list all of your education in chronological order with your most recent schooling first. Include any college degrees, trade schools, or apprenticeships you might have participated in. If you graduated with a degree, list the name of the degree as well as the year you received it. If you have not yet graduated, simply state the years you have attended the program as well as an expected graduation date. For each listing, give the university/program name, their address, and your degree or area of study.
If you had a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher, be sure to list it along with your school/degree information.
3. Give special qualifications or Technical skills.
Once youâ€™ve listed the most important information - your work experience and education - you can essentially choose to list anything else you find important. Create a section titled â€œSpecial Skillsâ€ or â€œUnique Qualificationsâ€ or â€œTechnical Skillsâ€ with a list of these things. If you are well versed in a special area of work that other applicants might not be - such as computer programming - be sure to include your level of expertise here.
4. Present your awards and achievements.
If you were ever given a special award or recognition, list it here with the name, date, and purpose of the award. A common thing to list here is your presence on the "deans list" for high GPA at a university. Make yourself sound as successful and hardworking as you can by adding as many awards as you are able. If you had a job in which you were given a special honor, make note of that here.
5. Give your references.
The last thing on your resume should be a list of 2-4 professional references. These are all people who you are not related to, but whom you've dealt with in a professional manner. You might consider a previous emplo