Creating the Perfect Resume

Job seekers often struggle over the task of creating their resume. Rather than pay for someone else to write it for you, just follow these simple directions. If you are in need of help for the template, Microsoft Office provides pre-created templates for your use. I prefer the ‘Elegant’ template, but you should choose the one that speaks to you the most.

The most important thing about a resume is its lay-out. Most employers prefer one-page resumes for easy scanning and quick review. Resumes do not need to be detailed synopses of your employment history; rather, they should be succinct guides to where you have been and what you are capable of. It should be easy to look at, with clearly defined categories. The names of the categories should be in bold, with everything else in regular typeface. Don’t worry about fancy fonts; employers are annoyed by these small additions.

When writing a resume for a client, I typically divide it into four categories: Objective, Employment History, Education, and Skills. Some prefer to add other sections (i.e. interests, awards, accomplishments) but employers are generally less-enthused by multiple categories. They want to get a concise idea of what you will bring to the table in as few words as possible; they probably have scores of other resumes through which to sort.

OBJECTIVE

This is, perhaps, the most important section of the resume. Other than the cover letter, this will be the employer’s first impression of you, and you want it to shine! This section should be geared toward the specific position for which you are applying, and should clearly state the type of employment you are seeking

Ex: I am currently seeking an administrative position in which I am able to utilize my clerical, organizational, and customer service skills.

It should be very short, but should speak directly to the employer about the position for which he or she is hiring.

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

This should be a comprehensive list of the last three jobs you have held or the last seven years, whichever is shorter. It should contain the dates during which you were employed with that company, the name of the company, the city and state in which the company was located, and your position title. Underneath that, you should list four to five bullet points describing your responsibilities during the tenure of your work, and any promotions you might have received. Try not to sell yourself too much here; employers want the facts.

Make sure to list the jobs in order from most recent position onward. If there are any large gaps in employment, explain them in one of your bullet points, because you will be asked to explain them later.

Ex:

1984 – 1992 Lockheart Telecommunication Systems Houston, TX

Administrative Assistant
** Responsible for answering 24-line phones, handling ingoing and outgoing mail, and filing.
** Performed all billing duties as recquired by supervisor.
** Promoted from File Clerk in less than six months.

EDUCATION

This is an important section if you applying for a job that requires a degree. Employers want to see your educational accomplishments and background, as well as your GPA in those areas. If you have a Bachelor’s degree, list your college, your major, and your high school. If you have a Master’s Degree or higher, list only your post-high school accomplishments.

Ex:

1968 – 1972 Bayside High School Houston, TX
G.P.A.: 3.82

1972 – 1976 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX
G.P.A.: 3.04
B.A. in English and Communications

SKILLS

This section should be a comprehensive list of all of the skills you possess that relate to the position for which you are applying. Make sure to list any skills that you have, and if you are struggling to come up with them, consult the Internet for ideas.


EX:

Typing (70 WPM), Microsoft Office (including Excel, Word, and Powerpoint), filing, organization, time-management, attention to detail, customer service, and communication.



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