Resumes 101

What to put on a resume

How long have you been staring at that blank page? Well, stop stressing and start filling the page! After all, you can’t edit words that don’t exist. Formatting preferences are subjective, so don’t worry about that until you have the following information written out:

Your legal first and last nameContact information

Phone numberEmail addressPhysical address (or at least your city and state)Job history, starting with your current or most recent position

Start and end dates of each positionNames of employersJob titlesJob responsibilitiesYour achievements in each positionHighest level of education

GPADates of enrollmentName of school or organizationOfficial title of degree or certificationExtracurriculars of noteAny other relevant skills or accomplishments


Tailor your resume to specific applications

After you have your facts straight, it’s time to think about what your potential employer wants to see. You don’t need to include every job you’ve ever had, just the ones that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Even if you don’t have all the technical skills, you can demonstrate problem-solving, working well under pressure, taking initiative, etc.

Use numbers whenever possible

Which person would you hire out of these three resume lines?

Candidate 1: “Manager” Candidate 2: “Managed a team of 14 associates” Candidate 3: “Increased team productivity by 10% by setting individual goals with the 14 associates I managed.”

Even if candidate 1 led an army of 700 to conquer the state of Florida, based on resumes alone, candidate 3 sounds the most impressive. Don’t be like candidate 1! Show your potential employer exactly why they should hire you in as specific terms as possible. Make a conservative estimation where exact data is missing and be prepared to tell the story in the interview.

When you get to the point where you’re not making any more progress, step away and revisit it in a day or two. Colleagues and friends can also lend a fresh eye.

Your resume is the only first impression you get to prepare and deliver in perfect condition. Use it wisely and remember, your recruiter can help you with anything that’s still tripping you up.

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