Resumes are a great way to showcase your talents and experience. It’s like an advertisement – for you. And, most jobs will require you to submit a resume as well as fill out an application. So, always keep your resume handy and up-to-date.
A resume helps in several ways.
It Gives You a Professional Appearance
Taking the time to put together a resume shows the recruiter or hiring manager that you take your career seriously. Your resume should be easy to read and uncluttered. Use a legible font like Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial and make sure that it’s not too large or too small. 10 to 12 point font is acceptable.
It Keeps All of Your Information in One Location
If you do need to fill out an application, you won’t have to scratch your head to remember what month you started your last job – it’s all right there. That’s why keeping your resume as up-to-date is essential. Even if you’re not actively looking for a job, keeping your resume updated will make starting a new job search easy in the future.
It Gives You a Professional Yardstick
Your career to-date on a sheet of paper or two can provide a measurement of where you have been professionally and may give you ideas about where you want to go.
It Saves You Time
Many online job applications allow you to upload your resume to their site, and many forms will pre-fill some of the application information for you.
How to Get Started
Start by writing down anything you can think of about your career so far on a sheet of paper – companies where you worked, when you worked there, what your job title was, and your job duties. Double-check your job history because most companies will verify your information.
How Your Resume Should Look
An internet search for chronological resumes (the most employer-desired format) will reveal samples of what your completed resume should look like, but here are a few pointers:
- Put your name and contact information at the top in bold.
- List your job history, most recent job first.
- Use action words and try to use terms related to your profession. These keywords will increase the chances of your resume making it through the initial computer screening.
- List your education and any relevant pieces of training or organizations. You don’t have to list graduation years.
- If you ever need to print out your resume, be sure to use plain white or off-white paper of good quality.