Resume Writing for Success
A successful job search starts with a great resume. Learn how to showcase your education, experience, skills and qualifications to land your dream job.
Make a Good First Impression
A resume is an introduction. Its goal is to get you an interview. Good resumes are focused and easy-to-read. Great resumes get you in the door by demonstrating a clear connection between you and the job.
Choose the Right Resume Type
Select the best resume type to emphasize your strongest qualities.
- Chronological: Describes your work experience on a timeline (good for those with a steady work history in related career fields).
- Functional: Highlights skills and qualifications (good for those with gaps in their work history, making a career change or just entering the workforce).
- Combo: Offers the best of both.
Begin with the Basics
Your resume should include your contact information, education and work experience. A section on qualifications and skills can also be helpful.
- Contact Information: name, address, phone, email
- Education: school, diploma/degree/certificate, year
- Qualifications & Skills: areas of expertise, professional abilities, technical credentials
- Work Experience: job title, company, years of service, primary responsibilities and accomplishments
Let Your Words Shine
As you develop your resume, remember these guidelines:
- Be brief; keep it to one page if possible.
- Keep it relevant; incorporate key words in the job posting or used in the industry.
- List skills clearly and concisely; a few words will do.
- Describe your work experience in short, complete sentences; bullet points are easier to read than paragraphs.
- Start each bullet with a strong action verb, such as achieved, led, managed, but try not to use the same one repeatedly.
Another helpful tip is to write everything down and then edit, edit, edit. Getting it right can take a few drafts.
Style for Success
Formatting should focus the reader's eyes on what's most important in your resume. Too many font sizes or too much formatting (bold, underline and italics) can actually detract from your strengths. Here are some tips for keeping your resume simple but successful:
- Use a professional font like Arial, Times New Roman or Book Antiqua. (No Comic Sans!)
- Use a larger font size for your name, but keep the rest of the text at 11 or 12 point font size.
- Bold your name, section headers and job titles; limit other formatting.
- Maintain enough white space; overcrowding the text will make your resume hard to read.
- Don’t use abbreviations or acronyms; write out the full words.
And please proofread!
Get a Second Opinion
Share your resume with friends, family, teachers, mentors and co-workers. Getting feedback from those in your field can be especially helpful.