When writing a resume there are a number of formats you can choose, including chronological, functional, and targeted resumes. Regardless of the format you select, there are certain guidelines that most resumes should follow.
Here's information on what you might want to include in your resume, as well as what shouldn't be listed. There are also guidelines for resume length, font and page margins.
Resume Length â€” Your resume should be as concise as possible; two pages depending on your career and fit for job. There is no maximum in my mind, however, the reader, screener or hiring manager will capture whatâ€™s in the first 1/3 to Â½ of page on a career summary. The following pages should provide support for that profile. If you are a person with 30 years of experience, then perhaps four pages is fine if the content is related to the job you are applying to.
Font and Size â€” Do not use ornate fonts that are difficult to read; Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, or a similar font is best. Your font size should be between 10 and 12 points, although your name and the section headings can be a little larger and/or bolded.
Page Margins â€” The standard page margins in word processing programs (1" margins on the top, bottom and left and right sides of the page) work for most resumes. However, if you need to tighten the margins to reduce the length of your resume, it's fine to reduce the margins to a 1/2" on the sides, top and bottom.
Layout â€” However you decide to organize the sections of your resume, be sure to keep each section uniform. For example, if you put the name of one company in italics, every company name must be in italics.
Information to Avoid â€” Do not include personal information such as birthday, height, weight, marital status, children, etc., unless the position requires it.
Accuracy â€” Be sure to edit your resume before sending it. Check spelling, grammar, tenses, names of companies and people, etc. Have a friend or career services counselor check over your resume as well.
Information to Include in Your Resume
This section is optional. We prefer not to include an objective but, rather, add below your name at top of resume a title related to the job you are applying to or interested in. For example, if you are a Project Manager in Energy and applying for a job as a Project Manager for Nuclear Power Plant, then your title would look like this:
Senior Project Manager – Energy Sector – Nuclear, Fossil and Renewables
An optional section is a resume profile, however, we strongly recommend this section. It includes a summary of your skills, experiences, and goals written specifically and containing many keywords from your career, experience and even the job description.
Here is a sample Career Profile statement for a Talent Acquisition Manager
PROFESSIONAL RECRUITMENT CAREER SUMMARY
Strategic minded HR – Talent Acquisition Professional with a progressively increasing responsible career track spanning 20 years in Recruitment and HR business operations, leading to developing and executing broad Talent Acquisition strategy. I am an experienced full life-cycle Senior Recruiter with a vast US & International industry network, a blended recruiting career with Agency and Corporate recruiter roles, to develop all levels of professional and non-professional openings through Board Level executives
Include the following identifying info:
City and state for address. There is no need to publicize your residence.
Only a cellular telephone number or home telephone number
Here's a sample of the identification section of a resume.
Senior Project Manager – Energy Sector – Nuclear, Fossil and Renewables
John. [email protected] cell: 314-777-2990
Education, Professional Licenses, Other Schooling, Industry Networks
This section is best located right after profile IF you have degree. If you donâ€™t have a Bachelor's Degree or other higher educational achievements, then put this section at the end and focus on your skills, qualifications and experience.
Include the degrees you have received in reverse chronological order (with the most recent degree listed first).
Be sure to include the name of each institution, its location, and your date of graduation (or expected date of graduation).
When applicable, include your major/minor fields, as well as your GPA and any honors, publications, and projects.
Unless you are a current high school student, do not include your high school degree.
Here's a sample of the resume education section.
EDUCATION & INDUSTRY ORGANIZATION MEMBERSHIP
Orange Coast Community College – AA Degree credits
California State University Fullerton – Completed courses towards BA degree
Harassment in the Workplace, New Employee Orientation, Enhancing Employee Engagements Workshop, Bechtel Business Ethics: Our Code of Conduct, Technical Writing Workshop, Supervisory Training, Upward Feedback Course, Human Quality Performance Workshop
US Coast Guard
US Coast Guard Training, Leadership and Management and Telecommunications Schools
US Coast Guard, Radioman 2nd Class, Secret Clearance, E-5 Honorable Discharge
Society of Professional Human Resources Networking Group
Miller Heiman Sales and Leadership Training Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) Nuclear Talent Task Force (NTTF)
There are different schools of thought about listing your experience.
Type A: Include your work experience in reverse chronological order (with the most recent degree listed first).
Type B: Include only projects and activities associated with the job description to keep the reader focused on just those skills and experiences they are interested in. Here is a sample for a person applying to an HR Role in Talent Acquisition and recruiting:
Here is a sample of the experience section of a resume, including what to list, and how to format it.
Company: Any Company Recruitment Role: Talent Acquisition Manager – Executive Recruiter Project Overview: Successfully manage fulfillment responsibility for Executive Search. Executive Search was achieved entirely through external retained and contingency search firms (headhunters). I developed the idea of taking executive search internally. Execution accomplishments include the following results:
Sourced, Screened, Interviewed and Processed 35 PM, VP, C-Level and Project Directors (Int’l) - Hired!
Recruited and facilitated the hiring of 80 other F/T employees
Led and/or participated in University, Minority & Veteran Career Fairs
Retained search fee savings of $500,000 in first year.
Skills and Qualifications
This section is important for many reasons.
Expand you visibility to recruiters â€” you want to be noticed, and this is a quick way to get your resume picked up by recruiters. This section should include many keywords associated with the job you are interested in. You may include any computer systems with which you are proficient, particularly if they are related to the position for which you are applying.
Include foreign languages with which you are familiar; state both the language and your level of familiarity (beginning, intermediate, proficient, fluent).
List any other skills you have that relate to the job but are not included elsewhere in your resume.
Here's a sample of the skills section of a resume.
SENIOR RECRUITER QUALIFICATIONS
Telephone & Internet
Screening & Profiling
US and Int’l Assignment Conditions
Hiring Manager Relationship
Managed Service Providers
Applicant Tracking & HRIS
Analytics & Metrics
Identified as the Recruitment SME and act as a talent consultant to shape the future recruiting capability of internal and external clients with many Fortune 1000 companies in many industries
Expert at developing plans to attract required skill sets that will ensure top talent is available to support objectives within in the business units and departments, closely manage offer process, coordinate reference checks, and salary recommendations.
Guide and support hiring managers in identifying interview evaluation criteria and competencies to ensure interviews are conducted efficiently and professionally, administer and resolve employee matters, effectively mitigating risk to the company
Experienced at hiring exempt and non-exempt employees, working with operations, business development teams and various business units developing recruiting programs
Individual contributor or work as team leader delivering results with little supervision, and effectively manage multiple mid-level to senior searches and candidates
Highly respected project manager of the candidate process and act as advocate to ensure internal and external equity
Prepare and deliver appropriate updates to HR Leadership and Sr. Management regarding strategy and status, ensure compliance with audit, regulatory and legal requirements
Volunteer Work (Optional) You can include a volunteer experience section to convey your leadership, communication skills, etc. List the name of the organization, the dates of your volunteer work, and your achievements. This section can include jobs, internships, and volunteer work. High school students might also include clubs and sports teams when applicable.
Hobbies and Interests(Optional) You can also include a section on your hobbies and interests if they relate to the position. For example, if you are applying to work at a sporting goods store, you can include your passion for basketball.
It's always helpful to review sample resumes to get ideas for your own resume and to see what a properly formatted resume should look like. Here are sample resumes for a variety of occupations, types of jobs, levels of jobs, and resume formats to review to get ideas for your own resume.
Resume Templates(from About.com) Use these resume templates as a starting point for creating your own resume. Add your information to the resume template, then tweak and edit it to personalize your resume, so it highlights your skills and abilities as related to the jobs for which you are applying.