What goes on a resume anyway?
So you've compiled a list of companies you're ready to apply to. You've double checked the qualifications, recorded application deadlines and now you're ready to get your resume designed by me. There's just one problem: you have no idea what information to include. Resumes can be tricky, but that's what I'm here for! Your resume is a reflection of you, and it's totally up to you what goes onto it. There are a few basic elements and lots of options for add-ons; which combination will you choose?
NAME & TITLE
One of the first things employers will look at when receiving your resume is your name, of course. My resume features my first name, middle initial and last name. Your combination is up to you. In addition, you might want to add your professional title to your resume. Alternatively, you could list the title of the position you're applying for. That way, there's no confusion about who you are and how you can be an asset to the company.
When it comes to your contact information you can keep it traditional or upgrade to today's modern methods of contact. Options include phone number, email address and location. No need to list your address - that's outdated. Opt for putting down your city and state, instead.
If you want to give your potential employer even more options, you can list your social media. Be careful, though - make sure the content you publish on these platforms is work/industry appropriate. That means no Thirsty Thursday pictures and no late night angry rants. Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are great for showing off a bit of your personal side. If you have a personal website, definitely include that too.
You've put in the hard work, so don't forget to list your education. Be sure to start with your highest level. Include the name of the institution, the degree you earned and your field of study. You can list the institution's location for even more specificity. If you're still in school, list your anticipated graduation date so your potential employer knows you're working toward a degree. Proud of your G.P.A? Did you earn Latin honors? Include those too to show off your responsibility and persistence.
AREAS OF EXPERTISE
I like to think of this section as a quick summary of what the employer will see throughout your resume. This section should be fairly small and highlight 4-5 areas that you excel in related to the position you're applying for. Seeking a position in the graphic design industry? You might highlight that you're especially skilled in hand-lettering, illustration, letterpress and calligraphy.
This section is similar to your areas of expertise, but it should be more specific. Here you'll include technical skills that show what you know how to do, rather than personal skills that reveal you personality. As always, make sure the skills you include relate to the position you're applying for. You wouldn't want to include that you're skilled with point of sale systems when applying for a position where you won't be handling money.
This is the meat of your resume and the section many employers are interested in most. When listing your experience, what you need to include is your title, the name of the company, its location, the dates you were employed there and your accomplishments. You want to make sure you include at least 3-4 positions here that are relevant to the position you're applying for.
Let your potential employer know you're credible and well-regarded in your industry. If you've won awards or received special recognition due to your performance within your field, include them here. You'll need the title of the award, the month and year you received it, and you might list what organization or company you received it from.