Your resume will let a recruiter or hiring manager know in just a few seconds if you’re a good fit for their company. Having a great resume that showcases your experience, skills and strengths will be a game changer for you in your job search. In our step-by-step resume guide below, we will walk you through each section to help you perfect your resume.

Contact Information

Your contact information should go on top of your resume. Typically you’ll want to include the following:

  • Full name
  • Address (Street, City, Zip, State)
  • Phone number
  • Email address (make sure it is professional)
  • LinkedIn profile (this is optional, but can be included if you think it’s applicable).

A common question is: Do I really have to include my address? If you’re applying for a job that would require a long daily commute, the employer may be concerned that you will eventually get tired of it and quit, and therefor not consider your application. It is acceptable to not include your address, and some people never do. If you are willing to relocate, you can mention that as well.

Summary

The summary, or objective is an optional resume section. The look and feel can vary, but this is where you will identify what type of industry or position you are seeking. If you’re going to write a summary, make sure you focus on what’s in it for the employer. How can you help the organization?

If you have extensive experience from previous projects and positions, write a short executive summary that focuses on the quantifiable results. This section should be kept to a short paragraph. Here’s more information about “How to Write a Good Resume Objective”.

Education

The education section is straight forward on most resumes. Include the following:

  • Name of University or school
  • Location
  • Degree
  • Graduation year. If you’re currently in school, put your expected graduation date.

A common question is: Where should the education section go? Typically, if you have some work experience and you have graduated, it should go after your job experience section. However if you are still in school, or recently graduated and don’t have a lot of experience yet, you can put it before your job experience section on your resume. If you don’t have a lot of work experience yet, you can also include:

  • GPA (if over 3.0)
  • Coursework relevant to the position you are applying for
  • Honors and academic achievements
  • Clubs and organization
  • Other relevant information
Certifications

List all of your industry related certifications and credentials. Include when you earned them, as well as any coursework you completed to prepare for your certification.

A few of the most popular certifications are:
Project Management (CAPM/PMP)
Microsoft (MCSA, MCSE)
Cisco (CCNA, CCNP)
CompTIA (A+, Network+, Security+)
Accounting/Finance (CPA, CFA, CMA,EA, CIA)
Supply Chain: APICS

Experience

The experience section is where you detail your work history. Include the different positions you have held, and what your accomplishments have been for each. You’ll want to include the following information:

  • The name of the company
  • Your job title
  • Start and end date. If it’s a position you’ve held in the last 10 or so years, include the months (ex May 2008 – August 2016) as well. If it’s been longer, it’s acceptable to only use years ( ex 1992 – 1997).

For each position, include a few bullet points with your key accomplishments. A common resume mistake is to just list out job duties. This will not convey to a potential employer how good you are at your job. Instead, use each bullet point to highlight accomplishments, and make them quantifiable when possible.

If a previously held position is not related to the one you’re applying for, focus on any transferable skills if possible and how they will benefit the organization you’re applying to.

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