A resume should detail your most valuable, relevant experience with the objective of landing you a job. It should “sell” your skills and abilities to your prospective employer, and should be written cleanly and concisely for easy readability.
Determining your most marketable assets can be a bit tough if you’re just starting your career, but write down whatever you can in the most compelling way possible. For example, if you have more relevant auto industry experience than your job at the local fast-food joint, emphasize it. If you’re in school, list the courses you’ve taken and detail what you accomplished and learned from them. However, if your only professional experience has been working as a manager in a fast-food joint, play up your managerial abilities over your burger-flipping skills. Remember: the goal is to get you hired!
It’s All About the Details
Recruiters on average only look at a resume for six seconds, according to Business Insider. Therefore, it’s wise to list your best qualities at the top, and to limit your resume to only one page, especially if you’re just starting out. An employer doesn’t have time to read through paragraph after paragraph, so length and conciseness are especially crucial.
A standard resume should include (from top to bottom):
• Your name, address, phone number and email as a header.
• A Selected Skills and Abilities section, which can detail anything you’ve learned in school or on the job. Examples include: MIG welding, Microsoft Office Suite, CCC ONE estimating software, thorough managerial experience, knowledge of high-strength steel repair, etc.
• An Experience section, which should detail your work experience, starting with your most recent job or internship. List your employer’s name and location, your start/end date, and a brief summary of what your responsibilities were and your accomplishments.
• An Education section, which details the institutions you’ve attended, your degree/certification, and any additional information such as student organizations you’ve joined or relevant courses you have taken.
It’s also important to note that different jobs require different skills, so don’t be afraid to tweak your resume for each application! Remember to focus on the skills that are most relevant to the position for which you’re applying.
Take a look at this sample resume:
Look It Over
Whether this is your first or 20th resume, it’s wise to have someone else look it over for review. Check out the career resources at your school, or look to your advisor, peers or even family members and ask for their opinions. Someone other than yourself will ultimately be reviewing your resume, so get proper feedback before that happens!
Resume writing is a skill you will value the rest of your life. By properly communicating your most valuable skills on paper, you’ll be one step closer to getting the interview – and the job you want!