There are many resources out there advising you on how to write your resume including books, web-sites, and software.
All of these can be very helpful when going through the writing process. However, it is important to keep in mind the end goal: to acquire an interview for a potential job with the company.
As you organize your resume, keep the following points in mind:
- Write a clear objective statement. Knowing what you want and what the employer is looking for can help you write a clear objective. Also, keep in mind that you do not want your objective statement to be too broad or too specific.
- Make it easy for the reader to pick out specific skills by selecting appropriate categories, presenting relevant experience and skill areas higher on the page, and using underlining, boldfacing or capitalizing.
- Present information in reverse chronological order within categories.
- Good quality writing and clear communication are critical. You might be the most qualified candidate out there, but that is not the message you will be sending if your resume is disorganized and ambiguous.
- Use job titles and skill headings that relate to and match the jobs you want. Employers make quick judgments when reviewing your resume. If they see unrelated job titles or skills, they are likely to make the assumption that you are not qualified for the job.
- Keep your writing style and formatting consistent throughout.
- Adjust the specifics of your resume and cover letter so that they address each employer and position individually.
- If you are applying for an entry level position, focus more on your grades and extracurricular activities rather than on work experience that is not related to the desired position.
- Be as succinct as possible while still conveying all important information. Try to consolidate everything into one page if possible.
- Although the design and appearance of your resume matters, the content is what is really important.
- Be sure to double and triple check your grammar, spelling, formatting, etc. A mistake in this area says a lot about you as a candidate!
- Do not misrepresent yourself in your resume or cover letter.