When applying for a job, candidates need a neat and concise way of presenting their past experience, education and training to the hiring interviewer. The standard way of doing this is to create a resume. It is typically a document of up to three pages that provides an outline of the person’s professional past. A good resume not only documents previous jobs but also shows the candidate’s achievements and successes. Today most companies screen applicants on the basis of their resumes before inviting them to a formal interview. In this way, the resume becomes representative of the candidate, so it is crucial to form a good first impression through a well-crafted resume.
General Information About Resumes
The design, style and wording of the resume can all make a huge difference in how it is perceived by employers. Instead of trying to cram as much information in as possible, use white space and a clear, basic font to make each section easy to read. Make sure that the resume looks neat and professional. To ensure this, stay away from funky fonts, colors, clip art and colored paper. A great way to appeal to employers is to become familiar with the jargon used at their company or industry and use it in describing jobs and responsibilities on the resume.
Styles of Resumes
Reverse Chronological Resume
This type of resume style is one of the most common among job-seekers. It essentially lists and describes their work experience starting with the most recent (or current) one and working backwards through the last few years. Each job title should be accompanied by dates indicating the length of time that the position was held. A major benefit of this style is that it quickly shows the employer how the candidate has progressed through their career.
Students or job-seekers who have limited work experience would benefit most from the functional resume. Instead of listing work history chronologically, it divides the resume into sub-sections based on areas of experience and skill. This is an ideal way of presenting a candidate’s competencies to a hiring manager.
The hybrid resume combines the previous two styles by listing areas of experience as the sub-sections and further explaining related work responsibilities chronologically within each section. Since a person may use several different skill sets within one job, that job may be repeated within several sections in the resume. For this reason, hybrid resumes are not normally used very often.
Resume Writing Resources
- An Intro to Resumes – Read more about resumes and find out what information to include in each section.
- Student Resumes (PDF) – Writing a resume for a summer or co-op job or even an internship requires a slightly different approach to present yourself as a well-rounded individual.
- Resume Action Words (DOC) – Use some of the action words in this list when describing work experience to make it appear more dynamic instead of passive.
- Brainstorming for a Resume (PDF) – It can be hard to talk about ourselves in a formal document. Try this worksheet to help brainstorm the duties that previous jobs entailed for a better start at drafting a resume.
- General Resume Tips – Keeping a resume well-tailored and specific to each job application is one good way of ensuring that it fits well with the position.
- Analysis of a Resume (PDF) – Learn what is important to include in a resume and then follow a breakdown of a real resume to find out how to write a good one.
- A Tutorial on Writing a Resume – A wealth of resume-writing advice is covered here, including what to do when switching careers or for those who have just graduated.
- The Process of Writing a Resume – Follow this writing guide from brainstorming to final tweaks for a professional and effective resume.
- The Resume Package (PDF) – Download a free, in-depth kit to learn how to draft and edit each section of a resume. This package also includes resume samples for some inspiration.
- Resume Tutor – Start step by step with an online tutorial to produce a powerful resume that will impress employers.
Templates & Resume Building Tools
- An Online Resume Builder – Use an online tool with pre-defined sections to draft a resume and format it correctly.
- Resume Samples and Templates – Look through the various resume styles provided and pick the corresponding template and fill it out with your own information.
- Reverse Chronological Resume Template – Download a pre-designed Microsoft Word template of a reverse chronological resume and enter in your information.
- Resume Template for Students – This helpful template provides prompts and questions in each sections to help candidates understand what quality of information to provide.
- LinkedIn Resumes – Use your LinkedIn account profile information to automatically generate a resume from a number of designed templates.
- Build a Resume – Try a free resume building tool with additional features such as a website to showcase your resume and inter-connected sharing functionality with social media websites.
- USAJobs – Create a free account on this government-run website and use the provided resume builder to apply to jobs among all government agencies.
- MyFuture – Use a step by step online guide to build a resume and then download the final version to submit to jobs and companies.
- Resume Builder Software – Download a free program to help create a professional resume with numerous templates, samples and more features.
- Resume Improved – Start writing a resume with the help of a robust building tool that offers tips and advice through each stage.
- A Functional Resume (PDF) – See an example of how to write a resume if you have limited work experience.
- Different Industry Resume Samples – Pick the industry that you are aiming to work in and browse a sample resume from that sector.
- IT Resume Sample – View an example of a reverse chronological resume from the information technology industry.
- Various Resume Samples – Compare different types of sample resumes from various industries and also see how resumes of upper management staff look like.
- Resume Style Examples – Look at one person’s resume drafted in each of the three different resume styles and determine which one is most suitable for you.
Places to Submit Resumes Online
- CareerBuilder – Post a resume on CareerBuilder.com and also sift through their advice section for more information on creating a successful resume.
- FINS – Job seekers can upload their resumes to this job board run by The Wall Street Journal and received customized job listings delivered by email.
- Monster – Monster.com is one of the largest job banks on the Internet. Their resume section also provides scores of helpful articles and resume samples.
- CareerOneStop – Upload a resume and find jobs across the United States through this job site.
- LawJobs – Those seeking a career in law can upload a resume and find jobs only related to this industry.
- StyleCareers – Fashionistas can submit their resumes online and even create a portfolio of their creative work.
- Creative Hotlist – People working in the creative fields can upload their resume and a portfolio here and target employers in fields such as music, film, photography, advertising and publishing.
- Health eCareers – Register and upload a resume to apply to jobs in the medical and health care sectors.
- Dice – Find computer and tech jobs after registering and submitting a resume to Dice.com.
- EmploymentGuide – Job seekers have to submit a resume and fill out an application to disclose their availability and salary requirements in order to apply to jobs here.