When is a résumé necessary? What’s important to list? What is a résumé?

You were asked to submit a résumé for a career position, and you realize you haven’t updated yours in years, or maybe you haven’t even written one before. Where do you begin? There are a lot of questions: how long should it be?, how much information should I include?, do I list my personal information?, and more.

Your résumé is your marketing piece of yourself when applying for a new position in your career field. You must “market” yourself to the prospective employer, and you want to do so professionally. There are a lot of templates available, but stay away from them! You don’t want your résumé to look like a cookie cutter model, nor do you want your prospective employer to think you take the easy way out….by using someone else’s work.

The length of the résumé will depend on your experience and accomplishments. Entry-level (recent college grads) résumés are typically one page, where a more experienced applicant would have two pages. When writing a curriculum vitae (CV) there is no specific minimum. The most important aspect is that the information is relevant and will help the employer make a decision based on what you have provided.

1. Choose an Easy- To-Read Font

To begin, choose an easy-to-read font in 11-12 point size. It is important to remember that some fonts do not transfer when emailing so keeping it simple is the best. Feel free to bold, underline, italicize, etc., to make certain areas and points stand out. Although the format is basic, you add special emphasis by doing these.

2. Basic Vital Information

It is necessary to include your name, address, telephone number and “professional” e-mail address.

3. Information to Highlight

Begin with the most important information that needs to be highlighted. Entry level résumés will begin with their recent education. A more seasoned employer may begin with a summary of qualifications or a brief summary of experiences. If the position you are applying for requires a certain degree and/or certification it should be listed at the top.

You only have 10-15 seconds to get the employer’s attention on your résumé before it is placed in the “later” pile.

4. Education

Under education, you will list the name of the university or the name of the degree first, depending on what is most relevant. You will also want to list the date you received your degree, and also indicate any academic awards and/or accomplishments under this area.

5. Experiences

When listing your experiences, keep in mind that this can also include your volunteer and/or unpaid experience which can relate to a position you are applying for. As you list your experience (and work history) you will list the name of the organization/company, city, state, and the dates you were associated with them.

The information that follows the heading of the organization will include relevant duties, accomplishments and awards related to them. An example would be: provided customer service while achieving 85% satisfaction from customers. Your goal is the show the potential employer that you have the skills necessary for the job, and more relevant experience will give you the edge on the competition.

6: Additional Information

Other areas you will want to consider adding are certifications, skills, professional organizations, and leadership development. Personal information is only listed on ministerial résumés if you choose. This could include marital status, children, date of birth, and specific hobbies and interests.

7. Proofread

Once your résumé is completed be sure to check for errors and proofread and have someone else proofread it for you. When printing, use a good white or off-white bond paper.

Writing your résumé can be enjoyable, and un-stressful If you follow these simple guidelines. Also, the SAGU Career Services office is available to assist you! Always remember the résumé is your marketing piece and it represents you.

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