Use your full first name. Avoid using nicknames. If you have a preference to be called by a shortened version of your full name, it's acceptable to put this name in parentheses or quotes (Elizabeth-- prefer to be called "Betty"). Your address shouldn't contain abbreviations. Your phone number should include the area code. Provide a phone number where you can be reached at all times, either by an answering machine or an alternate message number. Don't put your name and address on one line for a scannable resume, as the computer may be confused by this format. Type your name in bold and/or all capitals to make it stand out.
The summary or qualification statement documents your work experience, achievement and skills. This statement is a summary of the experience and qualifications that are the most pertinent to the job for which you're applying. This is recommended for all job seekers as a way to get the employer's attention. The summary should be three or four lines or a series of phrases that may be used in place of the employment objective or just following it.
To be effective, the summary or qualification statement must indicate that you're qualified for the position you're seeking. It's often read first, and if it catches the reader's attention, chances are, the rest of the resume will be read. A summary example-- Resourceful Planner/Coordinator with extensive knowledge of inventory control and online inventory systems. Recognized by management for innovation and initiative in implementing JIT techniques, as well as interdepartmental communications and supervisory skills.
List your most recent employment first. A general standard is to list the last three jobs, or the last ten years, whichever comes first. Focus on recent jobs and those that are most appropriate to your goals. If you have large gaps in employment or have
changed jobs frequently, consider using a functional resume. How you use your resume and the make-up of your experience will determine the amount of information to include. Many job seekers and employers use the resume as a substitute application (this is very useful if the application works against your qualifications). As a substitute application, the resume should include employer contact information. Many resumes list employer name, city and state. Contact information is provided through an employment application or reference sheet. One advantage in limiting this information is to keep the resume focused on your qualifications. Also, some people may not want a prospective employer to be able to easily reach a previous employer. The choice is yours. There is no one standard that fits all situations.
List organizational memberships related to your job goal. Avoid using non-employer-related or controversial organizations. Avoid mentioning specific religious or political affiliations, or other potentially controversial groups unless they directly relate to the job you want.
If your skills and experience come from employment, list employment first and education last. List education first if the emphasis is on education (a recent graduate). If you're a college graduate, state the name of the institution, location (city and state), degree earned and field of study.
ELIZABETH "BETTY" APPLICANT
1443 Hire Me Lane
Employability, Minnesota 55555
Employment or Career Objective
Include an objective when you're pursuing a specific job goal or when you know the exact title of the position you're applying for. The objective targets your resume, but also limits its use to those jobs that match your goal. Objectives may be considered optional on your resume. You can also use a short summary of your skills and qualifications. If your objective isn't included in your resume, state it in your cover letter.
Additional Points to Consider Regarding Education
Carefully consider listing the dates you graduated from school. List recent education dates because it increases its value. Older educational experiences may not be valued by the reader and may be used in age discrimination.
Don't list high school graduation if you've completed a college degree. If you've taken post-high school classes but didn't achieve a degree, list your high school.
When listing recent education, target specific skills and academic accomplishments.
A GED can be listed as a high school graduate. If the GED was achieved through a local school, list the name of that school. Otherwise, leave off the name of the school. You may choose to list the last school attended or the school district name.
Don't include an education section if you dropped out of high school and had no formal training either in school or from an employer.
Include relevant employer-sponsored training. Be sure that the training is targeted to your job goal. Summarize extensive employer training by type and only include training that's relevant to a new job.
If you've conducted a thorough independent study into a job-related topic, you may summarize it as part of your education.
If you're currently taking classes or pursuing a degree related to your job goal, include that information. List the skills acquired, academic accomplishments and the projected date of completion.
Include military experience that fills gaps in employment or supports your job goal as part of your work history. "Civilianize" your military language so your skills and experience match the employer's needs. For example, change a truck vehicle mechanic to light diesel mechanic, logistics to warehouse or material inventory control, war college to advanced training, chief petty officer to supervisor or lead worker, or NCOIC to supervisor.
Include hobbies and personal interests if they're employment-related, not controversial and show skills and experience.
Don't include references on the resume. Don't use "References available upon request." It's assumed by employers that you will provide this information. Once an employer requests references, be prepared to give them three to five references who can speak about your work habits and professional employment qualifications. Always seek permission before using someone as a reference.
Let the employer know of any awards or recognition you've received (employee of the month, etc.), if it's timely and appropriate.
Make it Scannable
Many employers and employment agencies are using electronic resume scanning systems to screen resumes, a trend that will increase in the future. When writing any resume, consider its scannability. Generally, there is little difference between a good scannable resume and one that's effective for the human eye. Ultimately, a person will look at all resumes so your resume must work for both.
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