Writing a powerful resume has become requisite in the job application process - for any position. If you do not have a four-year degree, your resume should focus on three sections: your work experience, your skills, and your expertise. The order that these categories appear on your resume should depend on a combination of how much of each trait you have and which traits of yours match the job description.
Your work history shows potential employers what you've done, who you've worked for, and how long you were in the role. If you have a lot of work experience, you may want to highlight this first. Often times employers value skills and expertise as much as, if not more than a formal education.
If you have fewer than three jobs to reference, you should still include this information, but may want to consider putting this section a little further down on the page. Remember that volunteer work counts as marketable work experience, too!
As you describe your duties and responsibilities at each job, use the same words the employer uses in the job posting when describing your experience. Try to include as many of those words as possible!
Start this section of your resume by taking an inventory of your work-related skills, then look at the description for the job you want. Your skills that match the job description should be mentioned first. Don't forget that you can acquire relevant skills from community and volunteer experiences too.
Include your soft skills, too! These traits are just as important as 'hard' skills. The ability to actively listen to customers, resolve issues under pressure, communicate clearly, and organize yourself to work independently are desirable to most hiring managers.
If you have passed or successfully completed any program that is relevant to the job you are applying to, be sure to include it on your resume. Do not assume that the hiring manager, or more likely the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), will make the connection between your work history and your trained expertise.
A high school diploma, GED, and vocational education should be included on your resume. If you are actively enrolled in an academic program, you should indicate that on your resume. You can also include relevant online courses. Don’t forget to add any extra-curricular activities and any special recognition or awards you may have earned.
Very often resumes are "read" by a machine (or software) before it is seen by human eyes. Experts agree that it's best to use easy-to-read fonts like Calibri, Arial, or Tahoma, and avoid lots of color.
Not up for a formatting challenge? Jobcase has a free instant resume builder. Once you fill out your Jobcase profile, you can publish and download a formatted resume, ready to be attached to your next job application.
Before submitting your resume: review, review, review. Ask a trusted friend to read it. Make sure it's free from spelling errors and that it represents you as the best applicant for the job.
Did you find this article helpful? Or have additional resume tips for the community? Share your thoughts in the comment below.