Building a Stellar Resume

July 25th, 2016 by

Your resume is the first impression you leave with a potential employer. Before the interview, they’ve already reviewed your skills and accomplishments. Don’t let a bad resume be the reason you can’t get your foot in the door. Follow these tips to help you create a stellar resume as you take the next step towards your dream job.

A well constructed resume includes the following sections:

Summary statement. This is the first section of your resume and it should be short and sweet. Just a quick blurb about who you are and what experience you have to offer. Ex. “Public relations professional with 5+ years experience using innovative social media tactics…”

Notable skills. Now is your chance to tell your potential employer what useful skills you have that make you the perfect candidate for the position. You can include soft skills such as teamwork and time management, but most employers expect that from all candidates. Try to highlight the specific skill sets you have and include software you are familiar with.

13903383190_5920c870e1_bProfessional experience. Where have you worked, what have you done and how have you used the skills you mentioned? You do not need to include every job you’ve ever had. Only include relevant experience to the position you’re applying for and make sure you are honest. Omitting irrelevant experience is fine, including experience you’ve never had is not.  

Key projects and accomplishments. This section can actually be included as a subsection for your professional experience. Describe impressive projects you’ve worked on, especially if you received recognition or an award for your accomplishment.

Additional experience. Include volunteer work, internships, freelance and consulting work. Make sure you describe the work and create a connection between your skills and your professional experience.

Education. Where you went to school and the degree you received should typically be the last section on your resume. Unless you are using your resume to get an internship or entry-level position, your major and GPA are often less important than the experience and skills you’ve acquired.

Don’t overshare.

Believe it or not, some people put everything on their resume, including their favorite color and how many kids they have. Stick to skills and experience and leave the personal details about friends, family and non-professional hobbies out of your resume.

Remember to proofread for spelling and grammar and keep things consistent. This means using the same punctuation, using either paragraph or bulleted format, not both, and keeping text the same size and style throughout.

Take Next Step Academy’s “Career Readiness” course for more professional and career building tips.

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