Key accomplishments or career highlights can be incorporated into your overall summary, or some people prefer to list them separately after the summary. Add quantifiable facts where possible, to show your value in actual figures.
Skills should be near the top of your resume, and easy to find and identify. Employers often look first at your skills category, to see if you meet the basic requirements of the job, then move on to see how you demonstrate these skills. Be sure to list all your core competencies and skills, separated into sub categories to again make them easy to find. Include all technical skills related to your industry, using relevant key words. If you have different resumes for different fields or industries, put the most relevant skills first for each.
These should be based on your research, and your self-assessment. You also want to list non-technical skills, especially those that will transfer well into any industry.
Communication and teamwork are examples, but remember to dig deeper and be specific. Definitely include skills that demonstrate leadership and management abilities. A common mistake people make is to just list their everyday responsibilities in their experience section, which turns it into more of a job description, and takes the emphasis off you. Past success is a good predictor of future success, which is why you want to focus on outcomes rather than daily duties.
Other tips for your experience section: Include all relevant education and training in your resume. List all colleges from which you received degrees, listing the college name, location, type of degree and major. Include online training such as edX and Coursera. Once you graduate from college, the education section moves to the bottom of the resume, after your skills and experience. These sections are your opportunity to differentiate you from the competition, show what makes you uniquely qualified, and demonstrate your well-roundedness.
Things you may want to include are involvement in professional associations, which demonstrates your passion and commitment to your field, and any consistent volunteer work or community involvement, which allows you to further demonstrate leadership and teamwork skills. If you have space, you can include hobbies and travel experiences, always keeping in mind relevance to your industry, demonstration of your transferrable skills, and a possible connection to your prospective employers.
References are listed on a separate page, not directly on your resume. People have lost jobs through negative references, so keep control of this important aspect to your search. In terms of formatting, you have a choice of doing a reverse chronological or functional resume. Again, make sure you have the appropriate and current contact information, and a professional email. Lead with your profile, skills, and experience, and save the other categories for further down the resume. In general, one or two pages are acceptable for a resume; if you have the material to support two pages, you should use two pages.
You want to include all important relevant information that will highlight your qualifications and set you apart from the competition. You do not want to use more than two pages, however, as your resume is meant to be a concise summary of your skills and qualifications. If you do use two pages, never print them back to back, always use separate pages and staple together, with your name and page 2 at the top of the second page.
Use bullets in your categories, instead of paragraphs of information, as they make it easy to pick out the keywords quickly, and skim the resume for relevant information.
If you use a less common font, some employers may not have access to that font and your resume may become unreadable. Remember that your resume is a concise summary of your skills and accomplishments, so keep your information to the point, focusing on your achievements, and save your longer stories for the cover letter and interviews.
Some people are experimenting with adding visual elements to their resume, including company and college logos, charts, or industry icons. These have mixed reviews from employers, but check the standards for your particular field. An infographic is a visual element that takes information and turns it into interactive content that is visually compelling.
Some people are experimenting with infographic resumes, which will demonstrate your knowledge of current trends, and depending on your targeted industry, could be a good option. Other trends may also depend on your targeted industry or field. For the computing industry, employers like to see code samples, and GitHub is a good vehicle for this purpose. Other candidates are taking advantage of multimedia options, including their own blogs and personal websites to highlight their qualifications, and even doing video resumes.
If you do this be sure you exude confidence. Of course online portfolios with embedded samples of your work are a good option for many creative fields. Another new trend is a shorter version of a traditional resume, called a networking resume. This is more of a sound bite, which focuses on your success stories and accomplishments, while keeping your brand message. Communication was outstanding so details were not missed.
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