What a Resume Should Look Like

What should a resume look like? The main tenet I’ve always stuck with when it comes to my resume, is: less is more. You don’t want to omit key skills or qualities you have, but you also don’t need long poetic verses about things that probably aren’t exactly, ya know... true. The idea is to highlight your strengths, be honest, and show willingness to learn and grow.

What You Need On Your Resume
Every word should have purpose, and there shouldn’t be any long-winded explanations. 

Hit ‘em hard! No fluff. Your cover letter will be another tool you use to convey your range of attributes, so you can go into more detail there. 

You don’t want any lengthy paragraphs on your resume, and you want to keep it to one page.

You need five basic components in a resume:

  1. Identifying information: Full name (no nicknames), address, phone number and email
  2. Education: College and high school degrees, professional certificates
  3. Experience or Work History: Chronological, descending from the present
  4. Skills and Abilities: Languages, technology or software, social media
  5. Honors: Can be listed separately or under Education

Another Tip: Cover Letters
Cover letters are an important part of the job search process. Generalized, unenthusiastic, passive cover letters usually don’t get you the gig. Cover letters should briefly highlight your skills, enthusiasm, and desire to become part of the team. This is where you should add some personality, while putting your best foot forward. This is what someone sees before they open the PDF you attached of your resume, so don’t diminish the importance of this step.

A Resume Should Look Like This…
The formatting should be basic, uniform, and cleanly presented. While there are various ways to organize the five components, I tend to lay them out in the exact order provided above. Of course, as you develop a longer resume, you can prioritize what you include based on the relevance of each experience.

UC Berkeley offers a great guide on writing your first resume, along with several examples of different kinds of resumes; check it out! You can use their examples to tailor your own.

Describing it is one thing, but seeing what we mean is another. This is a great example of a straight-forward, cleanly formatted, and informative resume. After the resume tips provided, you’ll see the sample resume. Mine looks a lot like that one, and it’s worked well!

Social Networks and Resumes Online
These days there are online tools which you can use to get your resume out there. The most useful of these is LinkedIn. This professional network helps you create your profile in the format of a clear and interactive resume, and also puts you in contact with possible employers. Make sure you join LinkedIn as soon as possible - it’s easy and it’ll help you make professional connections!

Lastly, once your resume is ready, check out RezScore, a site that actually gives your resume a grade with its complicated algorithm. An algo-what? Well, the point is that it assigns a score based on suggested parameters by dozens of human resource experts and head hunters. It’s never a bad idea to get a second opinion, right?

That should give you a good idea of where to go from here; don’t forget to send us any questions you might have via the comment box below!

Have a question? Let us know.
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