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Get Your Resume Organized

Posted On11/22/2015

ContributorShirin Miller

Do your qualifications match the requirements for the position?

This is the main question a recruiter is asking when reviewing your resume. Typically, it only takes a few seconds to decide whether or not your resume is a match, so it is essential that a resume is organized and easy to read.

Pieces of the Puzzle

Contact Information:
 
List your contact information at the top of the resume. Include your full name, mailing address, cell phone number, and email address. If you have a LinkedIn account, other social media accounts, or a personal professional website applicable to the position for which you’re applying, you may include those here, as well.
 
Summary Statement or Summary of Qualifications:
 
Since incoming resumes are typically reviewed within 6 seconds, put forth the effort to determine which strengths will most strongly pertain to your job search objective. Remember to emphasize the accomplishments which are most relevant to the potential employer. This is most commonly termed a summary of qualifications which allows you to briefly showcase your most relevant points first (effective skills/experience) where they are more apt to be read, and is much more preferred today over an objective section, which offers the reader little or no added value.
 
This section gives the recruiter an immediate sense of who you are and what you’re looking for without forcing them to wade through an entire resume. Stress what you will add to the company, not what you’re looking for. This is your hook for the reader, the rest of your resume must reel them in.
 
A summary of qualifications is usually a list of short phrases. You can use a bulleted list, with each qualification on its own line; or, to conserve space, you can arrange them in paragraph format, with a period after each one.

Example of an effective summary of qualifications

  • Expert pharmaceutical Sales Manager/Executive with eight years sales experience and advanced degree in biology
  • Consistently exceeded annual revenue goals by 35 percent-plus
  • Awarded 2006 “Salesperson of the Year”
  • Managed regional sales staff of 150

 
Professional Work Experience:
 
List your experience chronologically, with your most recent job first. Include:

  • Title of position, name of organization
  • Dates of employment give a round estimate i.e. (July 2002-August 2005)
  • Descriptions of your work responsibilities with emphasis on specific skills and achievements

A good rule is to go back 10 years with your job experience, unless your experience is extremely relevant to the position you are applying for.
 
Skills/Professional Associations:
 
Mention your technical and computer skills. List programming languages, software programs and operating systems you have used as well as certifications you have. Don’t forget “soft skills” like foreign languages and public speaking. Always include memberships in professional organizations, since it shows that you are serious about your career. It is best to leave off hobbies and interests, since you want to keep your resume as professional as possible.
 
Education:
 
New graduates without a lot of work experience should list their educational information first. Alumni can list it after the work experience section.

  • State your degree, major, minor and the school’s name and location
  • Add your grade point average (GPA) if it is higher than 3.0
    (If recent graduate or within 5 years of graduating)
  • Mention academic honors

 
References:
 
No need to waste valuable space on references. Employers assume you will provide them
upon request.
 
By following these tips, you’ll make sure your resume is neat and tidy, and recruiters are able to easily glean the value you provide as an employee!