November 21, 2022
People worry about how they will look during a job interview but spend less time considering their resumes. Your resume is the first impression you make when applying for a job. Therefore, it must be well-formatted, informative, and free of errors. You don’t even get your foot in the door without a proper resume.
What makes a resume stand out, though? It starts with a good outline. At Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley, we want to help you make a first impression that puts you ahead of the rest. Consider some simple examples of a proper resume outline for college students and job seekers.
A resume tells a story – the story of you. Like any good story, it has chapters. When constructing your resume, the first step is determining what chapters matter most in your job search. There are eight essential sections every resume needs.
Include your name, address, phone number, and email address. Also, if it relates to this employment situation, include a link to any website you run. If you are applying for a marketing job and have a blog about business, list it. If you want to be a bartender and have a drink blog, it shows your interest in something relative to the job.
Joe Q. Public
125 Main St.
AnyCity, NY 11101
If you are fresh out of school, include an objective that discusses your career goals. If you are applying for a mid-level position in a field you have worked for years, summarize your accomplishments and critical qualifications in that second section.
Provide only work experiences that relate to the job. For instance, list other places you have worked behind the bar or in service if you are applying to be a bartender.
Keep this section tight and informative. Put down the name of the employers, your employment dates, and the job description in chronological order.
If you don’t have work experience related to the employer, omit this section. The purpose of the resume is to highlight why you are the best person for the job. There is no reason to point out that you don’t have significant work experience. You can talk about it with the employer during your interview.
Joe’s Restaurant, Bar Back, 2016 to present
List relative education, putting your highest achievement first. If you are graduating from college, list that degree first and put the date you expect to finish.
Bachelor’s in Computer Science, United University: 2023
Honors: Magna cum laude
Coursework: Computer programming and network design
Micro certifications are popular these days. A micro certification is a single course you might take to enhance a specific skill set. In the bartender example, you might list a wine pairing course you took or a mixology certification class.
Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley offers free computer training courses that would look good in this section. Any class you take relative to the work you want to do matters.
List skills relative to the employment and include your level of competence. You can also break this section up by skill category, such as technical and soft skills.
Only include this section if you have professional honors to list. For example, if you were an employee of the year at your last job, this would be the place to showcase that accomplishment.
Use this section to talk about outside interests you might have, but keep it short. Anything you put here should be relative to the job. For instance, if you are applying to be a copywriter, you might note that you published a book.
Consider these tips from our career professionals at Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley for creating the perfect resume.
The number one rule is to be direct and keep it short. Ideally, you want no more than one page. If you have to carry over to a second page, you can but make sure you have a good reason. Go through the information first and see if you list things not important to this employer.
A resume is not a one-size-fits-all concept because it needs to be relative to the job. That means you might have to redesign it for each potential employer.
Avoid the package templates you get with some software programs. Set the resume up yourself to show you are a free thinker. Employers will recognize a resume created in a Microsoft template.
Don’t focus on the negative. If you don’t have job experience, no reason to draw the employer’s attention to it. The point of the resume is to get an interview. That way, you can show the employer face-to-face why you are the person for the job.
People respond to measurements, so use them. Put it down if you managed a restaurant that brought in one million dollars in sales each year. If you have a GPA of 3.9, put it on your resume. Numbers will make an impression.
These tools will polish your resume and ensure there are no errors. Make sure to check headings, too.
Insert strong action words into your descriptions. You didn’t create a website; you designed it. You have not worked in marketing for years but have established experience in it. A few action words here and there will add seasoning to the resume; just don’t go overboard. Too much seasoning spoils just about everything.
Also, stay away from action words that sound fake, such as:
These terms are bloated and overused.
Finally, before developing your resume, think of ways to improve your skills to get the right job. Taking training courses not only improves your skill sets but also looks good on a resume. They say you want to learn and be accomplished.
If you need help enhancing your skills or creating your resume, Goodwill of Monocacy Valley offers free training and career services to get you there.