Create a Great Resume
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Create a Great Resume

The purpose of a resume is to highlight your qualifications and get you an interview. Your resume, along with your cover letter, introduces you to an employer. It lets him/her know who you are and what you have to offer.

The perfect resume is targeted to the specifics of the job description. Tailoring your resume shows that you've done your homework and highlights the skills you possess that are relevant to the job.

Resumes can follow a variety of styles and formats, but most contain the same basic information:

Identifying Information: This section includes basic contact information, including your name, mailing address, phone number, and email address. If you have a Web site that is relevant to the job for which you’re applying, include that here, too.

Objective: This is really just a brief description of your immediate career goals. The key is to keep it short and concise and to make it relevant to the job for which you are applying. If your objective is vague, leave it out.

Education: This section details your past and current educational endeavors. List degrees, diplomas, or certificates you have earned or are working toward. Start with the most recent and work your way back. Include the name of the school, degree, major, date of graduation, and honors or academic accomplishments.

Work Experience: This is a summary of your work experience. List your most recent or current job first and work your way back. Include your job title, the name and location of the organization, and the dates you worked. Describe your job duties and accomplishments briefly using strong action verbs. Military, intern, and volunteer experiences may be included here or detailed in another section.

Volunteer Experience: If you have done a lot of volunteer work, list it in its own section. Include where you volunteered and briefly describe what you did and when you did it.

Interests and Extracurricular Activities: This section can be used to highlight skills that were not gained through work or education, but are relevant to the job for which you are applying. These may include leadership or teamwork skills you picked up through professional clubs, academic teams, or organized sports.

Skills: Use this to highlight special skills you possess that are directly related to the job for which you are applying. This is a good place to detail your computer experience and list the programs you are familiar with.

References: This is always the last section of your resume, but references need not actually be included in the resume itself. Your best bet is to say "References Available upon Request" and to keep a separate sheet with your references detailed handy.

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