Tips for Resume Writing

Resumes are an important part of your job search process. Your resume is the first impression you will make with human resources and/or the hiring manager in a company.

A standard resume should include the following information:

  • Contact information: Include your full name, street address, apartment number, city, state, Zip code, the best telephone number (including area code) to reach you and your e-mail address.

  • Employment goal or job objective: Indicate the specific job you are interested in. Avoid vague statements like, "A position with growth potential" or "A challenging position with a stable company." Keep it simple and to the point.

  • Skills: List any other information you feel might help you. Include information about knowledge of foreign languages, technical skills, etc. Do not provide personal information such as your age, sex, marital status or handicaps.

  • Summary of Qualifications: This section highlights your major selling points in three to five lines. Be brief, summarize, and give facts, not opinions. (This section is optional.)

  • Work Experience or Work History: You may list your work experience on your resume in three different ways.
    • Chronological order is the organization of job titles and responsibilities from the most recently held position to the oldest relevant related position. This is a simple, direct and informational format to use.
    • Functional order is when work history is arranged to highlight special skills and achievements. Every skill and accomplishment listed should have the organization and title held listed with it.
    • Combination order is a combination of the functional and chronological orders. Information is organized by relevant skills, followed by job titles and a brief description of responsibilities.
  • Education/Credentials: Describe any job-related training or education. List the most recent training first.
    • If you have been working for more than five years, you don’t need to give as much information about your education. Name the school, city, state, degree or certificate, or course work and dates (dates are optional).
    • Include your high school unless you have a higher degree. Never include your grade school or middle school.
    • List credentials or licenses you possess, memberships in professional organizations, or any other relevant special skills related to the job.
  • Military Experience: Indicate the branch of service, your highest rank, type of discharge, and date of separation. List any special assignments, duties, clearances, collateral duties, and decorations that relate to the job that you are seeking. Technical military training can be listed under the Education heading on your resume.

  • References: Note that "References are available upon request," or "References gladly furnished upon request." Do not list references on your resume. Instead, have them typed on a separate sheet of paper and have them available if the employer asks for them. You should have three to five references listed. They should be people who know you and your work — not your relatives. Be sure to get each person’s permission to use him or her as a reference.
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