Having a strong first impression with an employer is crucial to moving on in the hiring process. Your resume is the first glimpse a possible employer will have of you and at first impression employers spend just 20 seconds deciding whether a resume will move on to the second round.
The college’s Career Development Center has helpful resume guidelines that can be broken down into a few simple steps to ensure you have a strong and effective resume. Whether you are writing your first resume or looking to update yours, these tips are helpful to keep in mind.
Your resume is a marketing tool to market what you know best – you. It’s a summary of your success, experience and qualifications. An effective resume must be grammatically correct and easy to read with professional language. No shorthand or slang and be sure to have a professional e-mail address.
Resumes should be one to two pages and use the work experience you’ve had that relates to the possible job. If two pages are used, fill the second page more than half the page and remember to include your last name and number the second page.
While resumes are intended to help you stand out from the competition and it may be tempting to use brightly colored paper or your favorite font style, remember that a resume should be professional. Use standard white or cream paper, no more than three font sizes and the font style most recommended is Times New Roman, Arial or Courier. Proofreading is critical and the more people you have proofread your resume, the more likely a mistake will be caught before a possible employer can catch it.
The content to include in a resume is broken down into sections of contact information, professional profile, summary of qualifications, education and employment history in that order.
The contact information section should include your formal first and last name, current address, phone number with an area code and your e-mail but do not use your business e-mail.
Next include a professional profile with 2-3 statements that summarize marketable personality traits, relevant paid experience and indicate the type of work you desire.
The next section is your summary of qualifications. This will be the employer’s first impression of your strengths. Information included should be relevant experience, formal training and credentials, significant accomplishments and outstanding skills or abilities.
The education section is composed of required educational information and optional educational information. Required information is certificate or degree and major, graduation date or anticipated graduation date with the month and year, name of the school written out In full and the location of the college or university with the city and state. Optional educational information includes minor, overall GPA unless it is below a 3.5, major GPA and relevant coursework with specific classes that the employer might find relevant to the position.
Lastly, include an employment history with accomplishment statements. List your past employment with the most current position first and followed by the job you’ve held previously. Include the company name, city and state spelled out with the dates of employment and job title. Be sure to include any internship, apprenticeship or military experience. Present accomplishment statements that highlight your knowledge, experience and why you would add value to the company. Be sure to customize the accomplishment statements to the job opportunity you are applying for.
For help building an effective and efficient resume that will grab the attention of possible employer, visit the staff in the Career Development Center with any questions or visit the resume guidelines online at http://www.jccc.edu/student-resources/counseling/career/files/resume-guidelines.pdf