How to Write a Masterpiece of a Resume

119463950Writing a resume can be one of the most daunting tasks. It can be difficult to write about yourself, and sometimes even more difficult to determine what is important and what is irrelevant. What will make you stand out from the crowd?

Before you start writing, there are two questions you need to ask yourself: What does the perfect candidate for this job look like? And how do you fit that role?

Resumes consist of a variety of mandatory and optional sections, the most important of which are the objective and the summary. We will review all of the key sections that you should include in your killer resume.

Objective

Your objective needs to demonstrate that your career direction is closely tied to the specific position to which you’re applying. The objective also needs to demonstrate how you fit the company’s position-based needs. Your objective should include the specific job title as well as your specific relevant skills.

Summary

The summary is where you highlight a few of your qualities and skills that are most important for this specific job. Remember, you are highlighting the qualities that make you the perfect candidate. Use short sentences and phrases to highlight your most important qualifications.

Skills and Accomplishments

If your summary highlighted your most important qualifications, the skills and accomplishments section gives you space to tell the rest of your story. You can format this section in a few ways:

  1. List your accomplishments and skills as bullet points simply in order of greatest importance.
  2. List your accomplishments and skills as bullet points underneath topical headings of specific accomplishments.
  3. List skills and accomplishments as bullet points underneath headings of your relevant job titles.

Experience

List your employment experience in reverse chronological order, with your most recent position listed first. Don’t list every job you’ve ever had—focus on the most recent and relevant positions. Include: position title, employer name, relevant dates, and bullet points that summarize your role and accomplishments.

Education

List education in reverse chronological order, with degrees and licenses followed by certificates and advanced training.

Awards

If you have received awards in an academic or professional context, it is important to list them. If your awards were specifically academic, list them in the education section.

Professional Affiliation

This section is especially important if you have a membership in a particular association, or if you are a member of a particular minority group, that might be desired for the job.

Civic/Community Leadership

This section is important if your leadership roles or accomplishments are specifically related to the job. You can also include your professional affiliation information under this section.

Now that you know the important components of your resume, and the things you need to consider before writing it, start thinking…and then start writing! Keep these things in mind and you will have a masterpiece in no time.

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