A resume is meant to showcase your strengths as a hard worker and/or potential leader. Ideally it will spark enough interest to lead to a job interview, and from there to a paid position. In order to secure your best chances, you’ll want to tailor it somewhat to demonstrate your most relevant education/skill sets, but in general, resumes should have the following sections:
This is where you put your name in big bold letters, along with relevant contact info (address, telephone, e-mail, fax, etc.).
This section need not be labelled. Just give a 1-2 sentence summary of the position you are seeking, and whether you are after long- or short-term employment (such as an internship).
This is where you put down your latest, most pertinent educational information. You may want to adopt a list format with the most recent at the top. Each item should include the name of the degree earned, the school where you earned it, and the dates you attended. If all you have is a high school diploma or GED, simply list the year of graduation/completion.
If you have any special certifications (such as in hazardous waste removal or lift-truck operation), mention them here. You may list them with the most relevant at the top, or in reverse chronological order (i. e. most recent at the top).
This is a good place to list any other technical/specialty skills you may wish to mention of interest to an employer. Foreign languages and software experience are always a good bet, but stick with whatever is relevant to the position in question.
Here, you will list positions you’ve had in the past (again, most recent at the top). In each item you should include the position, place of work, date (from when to when) you worked there, reason for ending employment (if applicable), and (if practical) contact information for you boss/manager/supervisor/etc. so your prospective employer can contact them if so desired. It is always a good idea to ask the previous employer’s permission on this, of course, though if you finished on bad terms, you may wish to exclude such information. If you have worked at numerous places, just listing the three most recent should be sufficient.
That’s about all. As before, try to keep it confined to one page, and make sure your resume is 100% error-free–on such a short document, even one error can be rather conspicuous. Most importantly of all, do not lie or artificially bulk up your resume. Tempting though this may be at times, employers can usually double check your claim, and it will not help your case to give an initial impression of being untrustworthy.
Be honest, highlight your strengths, and if you think that additional sections will help your chances, by all means, include them!
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