More and more, people are hiring professional resume writers to write their resumes so they can stay competitive in their job market, save time, and experience optimal results. However there are those brave enough out there who want to write their own resumes but still need a little help. This article on the components of a resume breaks down each section that generally goes into a resume to make writing it a little more organized and effective.
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Summarizing your years of work history into a 1-2 page document can be an overwhelming and daunting task. But if you look at the individual parts of what your resume should focus on the light at the end of the tunnel starts to appear. Now, not all components of a resume that are discussed in this article may be necessary for your given situation. This will be for you (or the professional resume writer you hire) to determine and if you have any doubt as to what you should and shouldn’t include please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call us.
Let’s look at the most commonly used components that make up a resume.
The heading is where you put your name and contact information. It goes at the very top of the document for easy reading. You want it to stand out with the use of elegant design that will capture the attention of the reader. The design should be balanced with the text either being centered or by putting your name on the left and your contact on the right. Your contact information should include your name, phone number, professional email address, home address (or often just the city, state, and zip code), and your LinkedIn profile address if applicable.
Professional Summary/Professional Profile
Your professional summary or professional profile as it is sometime s called will generally go underneath your heading. Aside from your name this will be the first bit of information a hiring manager will read about you. Keep this brief and to the point. Use keywords in the job posting you are applying for and work them in. Depending on the format you choose for your resume this section could be written with bullet points or in a short paragraph form.
Professional experience or work history is obviously the part of your resume that tells people what job positions you’ve had in the past. Most people butcher this part by giving too much or not enough detail. Often the right type of information is left out. As for formatting use a short paragraph that captures the key elements of past jobs as it would relate to the new job you are after. Use a couple bullet points just below the short paragraph to highlight key metrics and figures. Numbers really stand out. The important part is to keep the information you share concise and relevant to the reader.
It is important to list your education on your resume, particularly if it is current and relatable to the job you are seeking. What you want to steer clear from generally is giving dates of graduation, and your high school unless you are a recent graduate and/or have certain achievements you want to list along with it. If you are an early career professional, you may consider including your high school to give the resume a bit more content, but most people will forget about it in a split-second. This section is generally pretty short.
Training and Certification
Some professions mandate certain certifications which should be listed on your resume. Others may find certifications and training to be a major advantage in which case it too should be on your resume. Keep this section as a separate section from your education so it will stand out better. List your certifications with the most relevant and important first, then work down the line.
Skills and Technical skills are a section that should be included in your resume no matter what. And no matter what, everyone has some type of skill that should be mentioned. This is the section where you can list software programs you are familiar with, machinery you know how to operate, job specific skills and keywords that hiring managers will notice etc. This is a bullet point, highlight section that should be relatively brief but is still intended to capture the resume reader’s attention to let them know that you have what they are looking for.
Keep your resume short and sweet. Remember these key components to make writing your resume easier. When you are writing your resume always remember to keep your future employer or hiring manager in mind. You are not writing the resume for yourself, you are writing it for them!
Author: Scott Nichols
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