Tips and advice on resume content and structuring
It is easy to create a good resume, but many people fail to realize a few basic principles which will often lead to a poorly written and presented resume. The following rules and tips will help you to create a good resume.
First of all, the best thing you can do is scout for good resume examples. Reading through these examples will give you a feel for the right resume tone and formatting. You can also search for examples of poorly written resumes, and use these to highlight common errors which you should avoid.
The three primary resumes are the functional, chronological, and combined. Use the style that is most appropriate for you. For example, people with an extensive employment history will be best served by a chronological resume. Graduates should use a functional or combined resume.
A resume is essentially a personal piece of advertising. This means you should highlight your skills, and include all the qualities and advantages that the employer will get when hiring you. You need to think about what the employer is looking for every step of the way, and this can be done by adapting your resume to suit a given job opportunity. Employers like to see your accomplishments, but don’t just list them, be quantitative and make them relevant. In other words, describe directly how your accomplishments will be of benefit to the employer. Having said this, you should never use hyperbole or make any claims that cannot be proved. You need to advertise yourself but you certainly don’t want to come across as arrogant or self-centered.
The best resume examples are clear and concise, and include only pertinent information. You do not have to use full sentences a long as they make sense and bullet points are often better for listing things clearly, rather than in prose, and whatever you do, stay concise and do not dilute the content. For people who are young and have less experience, a single page is best, and use two pages only if you have lots of qualifications (academic and professional). Clarity for style and formatting is best achieved with a basic font like Ariel, and you should avoid all color and graphics, and be conservative with bold and italics. Remember your grammar, and avoid the first person in favor of verbs that allow you to avoid its usage.
Once you have a draft, have someone read over it to ensure correct spelling, grammar and punctuation, and use their feedback to make improvements. Once you have something you like, now go back and compare it with great resume examples to ensure that yours is up to scratch.