In order to secure a job you must have a resume. There is really no way around it. Not only must you have a resume, but it needs to be professional and accurate. A great resume is really the key to getting your foot in the door of the organization that you really want to work with. In order to get you started, here are the basic elements of any good resume. You might already know most of these, but in case you didn’t, here they are:
- Heading: this includes your name and contact information. It should be easy to read and centered on the top of the page.
- Career Summary: this is a 5-7 sentence summary of what you have done and are capable of doing. It focuses on your brand, expertise and experience. You need to let the company know what you can do for them.
- Qualifications: this is a short bulleted list of your skills and qualifications for the job (i.e. keywords of the job position, keywords of what you’ve done “Process Implementation” or “Territory Sales”, etc.).
- Experience: this gives a brief summary of your prior work experience. Include company name, your job title, your supervisor’s name, and a brief summary of what your duties were.
- Education: this gives a brief overview of your highest degree of education and/or any additional education that pertains to the job. This could include classes or certifications in a certain area that would help you perform well for the company you are applying to.
Those are the main elements of a good resume. Remember to keep it clean, concise, to the point, and easy to read. Also, keep it up to date and accurate–do not add fluff or fake jobs to your experience (you’ll be caught). To keep it up to date, spend a few minutes each month to go over your resume and update any changes that occur, new skills that you have mastered or any changes in your personal contact information. It is also a great idea to have a friend or loved one look over your resume to make sure that it is a great profile of who you are, what your experience is and why you are the perfect candidate for the job.
These tips will get you started and as you apply for more jobs you will become even better at creating and adapting your resume for jobs.