Resumes 101

03/10/2021

Candidate

What is a resume and why do you need one? A resume is simply a compilation of your work background, job experience, education, credentials, and accomplishments. It helps to hire managers to see – at-a-glance – if you’re a good fit for their needs.

Since most managers only take a few seconds to scan resumes, yours needs to both concise and persuasive. It’s a lot to get done in a short amount of space. However, if you want to find your next great job, your resume is your ticket into the hiring process. To help you create a stand-out one, here’s what you need to know.

What to include.

Your resume must include a few basics, such as your name and contact information. In today’s world, you don’t need to list a mailing address; simply your phone number and email. In addition, it should be broken down into the following sections:

  • Work Experience. List your jobs in reverse chronological order with employer names, job titles, duties, and accomplishments.
  • Education. Include your degrees, where you graduated from and when, and any relevant coursework or awards.
  • Additional Information. You can also include sections for industry credentials, volunteer experience, computer skills that are pertinent to the job, or other relevant information.

Make sure your resume is tailored for each job opening. Create one standard resume and then customize it for every potential employer.

Once completed, your resume should be around one to two pages depending on experience. If you have several years of experience, you can write a two-page resume. If, however, you’re an entry-level candidate focus on a one-page resume instead.

What not to include.

Don’t include an “objective” statement. These went out of date a long time ago and are no longer necessary. Also, don’t include any personal details that aren’t relative to the job, such as marital status or religious or political affiliations. In addition, you don’t have to state that “references are available upon request.” Employers already know this and it simply wastes valuable space on your resume.

How to format it.

When writing a professional resume, use a classic font, such as Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri, Helvetica, or Georgia. Make sure the size is between 10 – 12 points. Use formatting carefully, bolding the names of employers and italicizing job titles. Also list information under your work experience and education using bullet points. Just don’t go overboard with formatting and underline areas, use colors, or add images.

Proofread, then proofread again.

One of the easiest ways to sabotage your job search efforts is with a resume filled with errors and mistakes. It’s why proofreading is so important. Make sure you take time to carefully review it and even ask a friend or family member to do the same. It’s worth the extra effort to send in an error-free resume.

Need more resume or job search help?

Turn to A2Z Staffing Solutions. We can help you with every aspect of your job search, from resumes to interviews to getting offers. If you’d like to learn more, search our jobs in Helena, MT.