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Employability Skills: Resume Quick Tips

What should be in my resume?

Basically, a resume needs to contain five to six different areas:
  1. Personal Information. This should list your name, address, phone number(s), and email address. Do not include personal information such as marital status, age, or religion.
  2. Objective. This statement indicates the type of position you desire. If you are applying for a specific position, use the title as your objective. Otherwise, identify the type of position you are seeking without utilizing a specific title.
  3. Education. Express your educational background clearly and include other formal training programs if appropriate. List your most recent degree first, and then list others in reverse chronological order.
  4. Work Experience/Employment. Present your experience in a manner that will best fit the employer's needs. Under each job, list action statements and accomplishments. Start each statement with an action word. In the Chronological Resume format (pdf), list your most recent work experience first, then the others in reverse chronological order.
  5. Additional Information. This is where other pertinent information may be put under a heading you choose, and is a format most often used in a Functional Resume format (pdf). For example, if you are in the middle of changing careers, you might want to create a heading titled "Professional Skills" and list relevant, transferable skills that will highlight what you can contribute to an employer.
  6. References. Generally speaking, a resume should not list your references. Under this heading, you should indicate "Furnished upon request" or similar phrasing.
How should I format my resume?

There are two basic formats you may choose from-either chronological or functional.

The following situations call for a Chronological Resume format (pdf):
  • The name of the last employer is an important consideration.
  • You are staying in the same field as your previous jobs.
  • Your prior titles are impressive.
  • Your employment history shows career growth and development.
  • There are no significant gaps in your work history.
The following situations call for a Functional Resume format (pdf):
  • You want to emphasize capabilities not used in recent work experience.
  • You are changing your career.
  • You have had a variety of different, unrelated work experiences.
  • You are re-entering the job market after an absence, or there are gaps in your work history.

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