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The resume is your primary marketing tool. Its purpose is to get you in the door. There are many right ways to write a resume. It is not an exact science with a universal formula. Streamline your resume to show employers how you can meet their specific needs.
Resume Do's and Dont's Video
Write your resume targeted toward a particular job or type of job
A specific job description will provide the framework. Create a resume that clearly focuses your skills towards the type of work you are seeking, keeping in mind that you may need to revise it when you see an actual job description.
Information to include
Wordy resumes are red flags to employers. A clear, crisp resume will make it easy to see who you are and what skills you possess. Use skill-based keywords in the job description to describe your skills.
Proofread, proofread, proofread! Errors in grammar, spelling, dates, phone numbers, addresses, and content reflect poorly on you and can quickly eliminate you from the pool of applicants.
The first impression of your resume is important. Your resume needs to be neat and easy to read.
If it is unclear how to contact you or if the employer is unable to contact your references, your resume goes into the trash. End of statement.
When submitting your resume by email, attach your resume as a PDF. This will ensure that formatting will not be changed when the reader opens the file on their computer.
When applying for jobs online, you may submit your application through an applicant tracking system (ATS). With an ATS, your resume is scanned by a computer that looks for relevant skill keywords found in the job description.
Resume examples included in this guide are not intended to be a template, but rather to demonstrate elements and ideas for targeting and focusing information. See a Career Counselor at Career Services for assistance on choosing the right style for you and providing examples from current resources.
The traditional, default format for resumes is the reverse chronological resume. This type of resume is organized by your relevant employment/experiences in reverse chronological order (current/most recent first). The reverse chronological resume is preferred by the widest variety of employers, as well as by recruiters and many internet job posting sites. Recruiters and hiring managers tend to like this resume format because it is easy to read and clearly demonstrates your job history and career advancement.
The combination resume highlights outstanding skills and achievements that might otherwise be buried within the work experience section, while simultaneously presenting, yet de-emphasizing, the chronology of jobs. The focus is on clusters of transferable skills and the experiences that are most relevant to the position for which you are applying. If you are open to more than one type of job, you can reconfigure the functional skill clusters to emphasize the skills most relevant to the specific job/job description.
Combination resumes suit a variety of job-seeker needs, such as having a diverse job history that doesn't add up to a clear-cut career path and situations where the job-seeker has work experience that is related, but not an exact link to the desired position. Job seekers who have large employment gaps or many short employment stints prefer this format because it downplays employment history. This type of resume also works well for older workers, career changers, and job seekers with academic deficiencies or limited experience.