The goal of a resume is to highlight your relevant experience and skills for a potential employer. A resume should be concise and to the point and should be tailored to each position or opportunity you apply to. Continue reading for how to format a resume, what sections to use, and resume do’s and don’ts.
Section 1: Contact Information
Your contact information goes at the very top of your resume. Include the following information in this section:
- Name: Use your full name and avoid using nicknames
- Address: Use a permanent address whenever possible
- Telephone number: Make sure to record a formal, neutral voicemail greeting
- E-mail address: if you have multiple emails, make sure you choose the one that sounds the most professional. The format of “firstname.lastname@XXXX.yyy” (or something similar) is always a good choice if it is available. Make sure you check frequently whichever email you choose.
Section 2. Objective or Summary (optional)
Having an objective or summary gives you a chance to communicate with your employer what you hope to do and highlight a few key skills. This section should be customized for every position you apply to. Your objective or summary should be three sentences at most.
Section 3. Education
If you are in school or just graduated, your education section should follow next. Once you have more job experience, your job experience should come before your education. List your most education information first. The following is what to include for each degree:
- School name and location (city, state)
- State the years spent at the given school
- Degree sought/seeking (Bachelor of Arts, etc.)
- Major and minor or concentration
- Include your grade point average (G.P.A.) if greater than a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- List any academic honors as well as research experience and major projects you were a part of. For projects/research, state what your role was in the endeavor (i.e. team lead, project manager, etc.).
- If you wrote a thesis as a part of your degree, include the title of the thesis.
Section 4. Work Experience
For each position you have held give the following information:
- Name of organization and location (city, state)
- Dates of employment. You can state either the year or the month and year for the duration of your employment.
- Title of position
- In a bulleted list, state your work responsibilities with an emphasis on specific skills. Start each bullet with a verb, and do not use pronouns. Make your bullets result-oriented when possible and quote specific numbers and figures to show accomplishments.
Based on your experience, skillsets, and recognition received, you may wish to add any of the following sections:
- Awards and Recognition (not academic related)
- Scholarships and fellowships
- Special skills or competencies – For example, if you know specialized computer programs that would help you accomplish the job for which you are applying or second language fluency
- Key leadership experiences
- Conferences attended and presentations made at conferences