Pictured is a student on her laptopIt’s perhaps the single most important tool in aid of your career: your resume. Without one you will most likely find a great deal of resistance to getting a job or even advancing forward in your career. It’s the document you will use throughout your working life, and one that will directly aid you in stepping up in your job.

A resume is a document that contains all of your most recent work experiences and accomplishments, outlines your job skills and offers employers a look into who you are and what you do every day.

A resume should include the following information:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Work history and experience
  • Education, skills, and accomplishments

Starting from the top, you want to introduce yourself. List your name and at least two different ways to reach you. Email and a phone number are a typical place, but you might also consider including your relevant social media profiles if it might be helpful to your cause (and by all means, if you do include your Facebook page, make sure it isn’t filled with inappropriate or embarrassing photos or posts). Online portfolios or blogs might also go well here if you have one.

You might be surprised to know that you don’t have to list ALL of your work experience. Potential employers probably don’t care about your job at the fast food restaurant or that summer you spent washing cars. Only include information relevant to the position you’re applying for. You should consider tailoring your resume to the position you’re going after.

Your work history should include work dates and a rundown of your main duties and accomplishments. Knowing what your role was and how your maximized its effectiveness is important; be sure those accomplishments are there.

Your education should be quick and to the point: list where you went to school and what degree or certificate you received. You don’t even have to list the year you graduated.

Finally, be sure your resume is a succinct as it can be. Try to keep it at 1 page. Also, use an easy-to-read, professional-looking font, and don’t get too cute or flowery.

Stay businesslike on your resume. Get to the meat of your career, and you’ll have a document you can be proud of!

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