A resume is a brief history of your working experience, education, and accomplishments that you prepare for job application. In general, a great resume should be:
- Clearly presents your facts in an easy-to-read style.
- Your employer can find your strength at a glance.
- Dynamic action verbs to make your past come alive
- Its appearance says, “I’m proud of who I am and what I have done.”
How to Develop the Right Resume
Unless you have more than 10 years of experience, your resume should be no longer than one page. Use a simple layout.
Know what you want.
Compose a clearly stated job objective. State what you want to do, for whom, where, and at what level of responsibility.
Stand out from the crowd.
Instead of just listing your job skills, describe the benefits and results of your performance. For each permanent job or staffing assignment, develop a list of major accomplishments, placing the most emphasis on your recent achievements. What problems or challenges have you faced? What actions did you take to overcome them? How did your actions benefit the company? Keep in mind that most companies value workers who enhance profits and save time and money.
You only have one shot to make a great impression. Your resume is a word picture of yourself. Showcase your strengths and one or two outstanding skills or abilities. List your education, training, and any relevant awards.
Never list the reasons for termination or leaving a job on the resume.
The reader can find negative connotations for even the best reason. You’re far better off explaining employment lapses in person.
Make sure the resume and the cover letter are error-free.
Resume Writing Tips
- Think Relevance. Your resume is not an autobiography; it is a compilation of what you’ve got that the employer is seeking!
- Limit resume to one page. Most of the time, recent college graduates do not have the experience to justify a two-page resume. If you need two pages, make them two complete pages.
- Accuracy counts. Make sure your resume is organized and neat. It should contain NO spelling and/or grammatical errors. Have several people – CDC staff, professors, classmates, supervisors – read it to look at it with “fresh eyes.”
- Use action words. Avoid passive or weak phrases.
- Be consistent throughout the entire resume with display techniques, punctuation, verb tense, dates, and spacing.
- Avoid abbreviations.
- Never include high school information on your resume.
- Use bullets to describe your duties/responsibilities. They create the illusion your resume will be quick and concise to read. Begin each bullet with an action verb.
- Do not include references on your resume.
- Your resume should look professional. Use white, cream, or gray bond paper. Do not include fancy fonts, pictures of yourself, personal information, or unusual bullets.
- Personal information (religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, age, etc.) is irrelevant.
- Font size: 10 (minimum), 12 (maximum); Headings may be larger.
- Margins: 1 inch (ideal); ½ inch (minimum)