Written by Janet Smith, Regional Manager and Workforce Specialist in NVME’s Western Region
There are many good guidelines and tips for writing an effective resume. One good rule of thumb is to “Think like a Boss.” The following tips will help you do just that!
Highlight Your Skills
A boss wants to hire someone who can do the job and do it well. The job description and advertisement for the job tell you about the job and what it involves. Highlight your skills and experience that match those from the job description/ad on your resume. You may have used the skills in an unrelated job, an internship or as a volunteer. Include them! Make sure they are easy to read and easy to find.
Make it Easy for the Boss to Contact you
Your name should be easy to read and easy to find at the top of the resume. It should also be bigger than everything else. List your contact information below that. This should include your address, phone, and email. Unless your email is your name or something professional, create a separate “professional” email for all your job searching.
Write With the Job in Mind
You do not need to list every job you’ve ever had. A resume is a list of relevant experience. List the most relevant first, even if it isn’t your most recent job. Let employers know you’re qualified as soon as you can in the document. If they see a lot of information that has nothing to do with the job, they might not take the time to read everything else.
Make each job easily identifiable. Employers should know when one job ends and the next begins. List your position on one line in bold or underlined, then on a line below, list where the job was (business name, town/state). List the dates you held the job. Month/year-month/year is fine.
List your duties/experience with each job. Use bullet points so employers can see exactly what you did right away. Don’t use complete sentences. They take up too much space and require too much reading.
Stay active! Begin each bullet point with an active verb like “assisted” or “managed” or “generated.” Stay consistent with your tenses – if it’s a current job, everything for that job should be present-tense. If it’s a past job, it should all be past-tense.
Include internships and volunteer positions, especially if they helped you gain relevant experience.
Make it Easy for the Boss to Read
Use an easy to read font. Calibri, Arial, and Geneva are all good choices. Keep the font size at 10 -12.
Those are the basics! There plenty of good examples of resumes and resume templates available for free online. You can also find resume samples for specific occupations that use the language and skills for that field of work. Also, check with your local library, Career Center, and New Ventures Maine Center for additional resources and assistance.
Interested in learning more about how to reach your career goals? Check out our tuition-free workshops and trainings that can help you with your next steps!