A resume is a document commonly used in the hiring process. It includes information about your background and qualifications and should communicate the most important, relevant information about you to employers in a clear, easy-to-read format. The goal is to quickly communicate why you are uniquely qualified for the position based on your skills and experiences.
How to create a professional resume
Follow these steps when drafting a resume for your next job application:
1. Start by choosing the right resume format
A “format” is the style and order in which you display information on your resume. There are three commonly-used resume formats you can choose from depending on which is right for you: Chronological (or reverse-chronological), functional or a combination.
The functional resume format emphasizes the skills section and is a good option if you are switching industries or have some gaps in your work history.
2. Include your name and contact information
Your resume should begin with your name and contact information including your email address and phone number. You have a choice about whether or not to include your mailing address.
3. Add a resume summary or objective
After your contact information, you have the option to include either a resume summary or objective statement. An objective statement quickly explains your career goals and is a good choice for those with limited professional experience, such as recent college or high school graduates.
4. List your soft and hard skills
Take a moment to consider which skills make you a great fit for the job. Review the job description and highlight keywords that you have had proven success with in the past. Consider both hard (technical) and soft (interpersonal) skills, as well as transferable skills you can use when changing careers or industries.
5. List your professional history with keywords
Write your professional history section in reverse-chronological order. Start with your most recent job and provide a short description including the company name, time period in which you were employed, your job title and a few key achievements during your time at the company
6. Include an education section
An education section will be especially valuable if you have limited work experience (such as recent college or high school graduates) or if you are transferring to a new industry. You can include information such as:
7. Consider adding optional sections
If you have significant white space on your resume, consider adding an achievements or interests section. This can help supplement a shorter resume, especially for those with limited work and educational experience.
8. Format your resume
While the layout of your resume is important, you should also take time to pay attention to formatting details like font style, font size, margins and spacing. Formatting your resume can make it look clean, professional and improve readability.
9. Proofread your resume
Carefully review your resume for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. Reading your resume backward can help you identify errors by presenting the words in a new order. You should also ask trusted friends, colleagues, professors and family members if they can review your resume.
10. Tailor your resume for each position
It’s important to revise your resume to tailor it to each position you apply for. For each job, adjust the keywords in the skills section so that it’s a great fit for what the employer needs. You should also change what you emphasize in the professional history and educational experiences sections depending on what’s listed in the job description.
Here is an example of a resume following the combination resume format:
Tampa, Florida • 123-456-7891