Regardless of great work experience or strong references, if your resume isn’t doing you justice then finding a job becomes that much more difficult.
Here is a step by step guide to helping you build a great resume.
1. GATHER INFORMATION
First thing’s first, create a document with all of the information you would like to display on your resume. This should include but isn’t limited to:
- Basic contact information
- Work experience
- Employers contact information
- References and contact information
Having this information organized and readily available will help you to create an effective resume.
2. LAYOUT AND DESIGN
The layout and design of your resume is an extremely important factor that should not be overlooked. Possible employers may move along without even giving your resume a chance if it looks disorganized, outdated, information is crowded or it doesn’t really express your style.
Try researching some resume layouts that are aesthetically appealing. A small pop of colour sometimes can help to catch an employer’s eye. Finding balance in your resume and having it look clean and neat is also very important, you don’t want potential employers to struggle reading your resume.
3. BASIC INFORMATION AND CAREER OBJECTIVE
It should always be very clear on your resume who you are, how to contact you and what kind of job you are looking for. Basic information should be just that, basic. You don’t want to overwhelm or confuse potential employers when they are trying to contact you. You should include:
- One phone number
- Location (city of residence)
Having your career objective with your basic information is important because it is a part of who you are. This gives employers the opportunity to know right away if the job is close to your field of choice or not.
Your education section should be short and sweet. Begin with your most recent post-secondary education and work down from there. Each educational addition should include:
- Name of educational institution
- Name/area of study or program
- Level of education
- Year started and completed
- Any special achievements or certifications
- Extra-curricular activities
If you have more than one post-secondary addition, it may be wise to opt out of including your secondary education information to keep it short and sweet.
5. WORK EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS
Where you detail your work experience and relevant skills is the most crucial part of your resume. This is your opportunity to stand out among other applicants. Your work experience should be in order from most current to least current and should include:
- Job title
- Company or organization
- Contact information
- Job description
Organizing this information may take a couple tries until it flows properly and looks clean and organized.
6. AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
If you have received any relevant awards or achievements you should include them on your resume. This proves to potential employers that while working, studying or volunteering that you made an effort to go above and beyond the expectations.
Your references are a very important aspect of your resume. This shows potential employers that after finishing your education, volunteer opportunity or past job that you left on good terms with your superiors. You should always check with your references first before you include them.
8. EDIT AND APPLY
Good news, you are almost done your resume! Now is the time to have someone with good grammar skills and an eye for design to take a look at and edit your resume. It’s important to have an open mind during this part and really critique your resume.
Once it is edited and ready to go, it’s time to apply for jobs on your own or with the help of a staffing agency like ABL. Good luck!