If you are searching for a job or about to make a job change, deciding to create a resumé to submit with your job application is a great decision. Keep in mind that the resumé does not replace the job application. It is only a supplemental part of the job application that is used to paint a larger picture of your work history.
All employers do not require a resumé submission with a job application. However, if it is a requirement, submit a resumé that is will capture the employer’s attention. Before creating a resumé, take time to thoroughly review the job announcement. It is important for your information match what is in the job announcement.
Always tailor the resumé to target the job based on the job requirements. By doing this, you best display the skills you have to offer the company. Only include skills, experience, and training that validate your qualifications to show you can do the job. Inserting action verbs can enhance the strength of your resumé. In other words, to land the interview, you must tell your story effectively.
12 Tips for Resumé Success
For most jobs, you will more than likely use a chorological, functional, or combination resumé. Depending on the resumé style, keep the following resumé writing tips in mind.
- Remember, one size resumé does not fit all job searches. Select the resumé style that best highlights your skills, work experience, and education without drawing attention to your weaknesses. Focus on transferrable skills when you are changing industries. Remember to switch the format of your resumé.
- Before creating a resumé, familiarize yourself with the advantages and disadvantages of each style. Avoid adding sensitive personal information, your age, and photos.
- When applying for an academic position, it is more appropriate to use a CV instead of a resumé. A curriculum vitae (CV) is more extensive in pages and shows the progression of your academic career. For all other jobs, use a standard resumé.
- Try to keep your resumé limited to two pages and do not forget to number the second page. The margin should be no more than one inch wide.
- Never use a font size smaller and larger than a 11- or 12-point font size. Use consistent, easy-to-read font size throughout the document. Use black ink only.
- Be specific when listing your job duties. Always list the most important job duty as your first bullet point. Using bullet points can make it easier for an employer to read the resumé. Be conscious about the white space because your resumé needs to be visually balanced. To explore ideas of what may be relevant for your position, visit www.onetonline.org.
- Include different experiences other than just full or part-time paid work. Think about adding examples to showcase your skills and personality by including volunteering, community service, leadership roles, internships, student organizations, and freelancing—as well as other projects.
- Students or recent graduates should list education above the experience section of the resumé. By doing this, applicants will showcase their most marketable skills and qualifications at the top of the page to capture the employer’s attention.
- Writing a cover letter enhances the chances of landing an interview. Do not forget the information written in a cover letter should match what is in the resumé. This allows the applicant to express why they are interested in the job. It also allows the applicant to share some of their personality, achievements, and creativity.
- Before submitting the resumé and cover letter, proofread to correct any errors (i.e., spelling, or formatting). Also, ask someone to proofread your resumé to catch errors you may have missed.
- Although resumé paper comes in a few colors, you can always use white or ivory (cream) colored paper for most jobs. Using other colors may be risky depending on the job and industry. Only use the 8.5 x 11-inch paper to make it easier for the company to scan and file.
- Imagine that you are the employer. Take the time to carefully review your document and make sure all the information is relevant for the specific job that you are seeking.
More information is available in the Alabama Extension publication Create a Job Winning Resumé.
Want to learn more? Contact the Alabama Extension community workforce, leadership, and economic development professional in your area. If you are interested in learning how the Alabama Cooperative Extension System can provide your community with no-cost workforce development education, contact email@example.com or call 334-844-7560.