Classic Rules for Effective Résumés
January 27, 2011
A classic résumé style is chronological, that is, it lists your job experience from most recent to oldest. Your résumé should be written so that it best highlights your skills, education and talents. Follow these simple rules.
Start with Your Contact Information
All types of résumé begin with contact information. Use the most up-to-date information, so that an employer can reach you. Your email address is something that will represent you and should generally be your name. If your current email address could be seen as unprofessional by a potential employer, consider creating a new email address just for job seeking on a free site such as Gmail.
Talk Up Your Key Accomplishments
Remember that with any type of résumé, the first one-third of the page is the most important. If you haven’t caught the employer’s attention in the first third, they will never make it to the bottom of the résumé. Start with your key accomplishments, your top skills, education and years of experience.
Professional Experience Should Be Factual and Compelling
List your work experience, starting with your most recent job, and then previous jobs, moving backwards in time. For each job, list the company name, your job title, dates of employment and major accomplishments. When listing your work experience at each job, use exciting action verbs (for example, “implemented,” “monitored,” “piloted,” etc.). Additionally, specific details are always a good thing. For example, “I did sales” is not as interesting as “I was awarded the top seller award when I outperformed the goal by 67 percent.”
Remember, everything you write on your résumé should be true. There is a difference between marketing yourself more effectively and making things up.
Education, Including Certifications
List your professional education including certifications and degrees. If you are just out of college, put education BEFORE the professional experience section.
Reference Listings Not Required
Do not put your references on your résumé. Instead, write that they are available upon request.
Follow these steps, describe yourself in exciting action verbs, and don’t forget to proofread so that your résumé is error free, and you will increase your chances of getting noticed by employers.
Audrey Allen, M.A.
Workforce Development Director
Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana, Inc.