Resume Content

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Length

Resumes should be one or two pages, depending on your experience. For people with less experience, one page is fine. Most people will use two pages. However, your resume should never be more than two pages. If you can’t fit your experience on two pages, you should look at writing more concisely.

Sections

Your headings depend on your experience, but all resumes should have two important sections:

  • Education
  • Professional Experience

In addition to these, you want other sections to highlight your experience and skills. Here are some of the most popular

This shows the hiring manager where you have worked These are some of the most popular sections.

Achievements

Many great resumes start with a summary of key skills and experience. This quickly summarizes your value to the company. This section should often change depending on the specific requirements for the job.

You may see advice to include an objective statement at the top or four resume. Don’t do it. The achievements section is much better. Why? Objective statements are a waste of space. They are either too vague or too demanding. Take a look at these two examples:

  • “To obtain a customer service position in a retail company”

This is obvious. If you are applying for a customer service position in a retail company, do you really need to say that at the top of your resume? That’s the most valuable space on the entire document. Don’t waste it stating the obvious.

  • “To obtain a sales position where I can use my experience and have the opportunity for professional growth”

This is a list of thing you need from the job. It doesn’t tell what you bring to the position. Should the first thing on your resume be what you need? No. Hiring managers will start to think you are a demanding employee who constantly need to feel challenged and satisfied at work.

Volunteer Experience

This can be as valuable as paid experience. List your volunteer experience like your professional experience, with the organization name and your tasks and achievements.

Certificates and Training

Many industries expect you have taken professional development courses or attended conferences. This section can show the employer how you are building your skills or how you are qualified.

Skills

This section can have different names depending on your industry. For some people, it could be called software skills. Others may list languages they speak. This would be a section to list your English skills, for example with a TOEIC score.

 



Structure

You should design your resume in the order that best fits your skills.  For example, if you have little experience but impressive education, put education first. If you have good experience, it is a good idea to place that first.

Most resumes come in two formats: chronological and functional. Chronological is the most common. This is where you organize your resume like a timeline. A functional resume is organized by skills, for example customer service or sales.

You want a chronological resume. You may find advice on the internet for a functional resume, but the truth is hiring managers hate these. When your experience is not grouped chronologically, it makes it tedious to understand your career path and your experience. Hiring managers end up having to search through your resume looking for information they want. In reality, they won’t do that. They will throw it out and move on.

Use a chronological resume to clearly show where you worked and when. And make sure you use reverse chronological order, meaning your most recent job is first.