Lost your resume? Never even made one before? Wanting to make a new and better one from the ground up? You’ve come to the right place. Here are some beginner tips as well as helpful reminders when making your resume from a blank document or updating an old one.
Essentials: Name, Phone Number, Email, LinkedIn Links
These items introduce you as an individual who is well-established in both the world of technology (phone, email) and LinkedIn (links).
LinkedIn profiles are optional and best-suited for people working in a clerical or professional field. An industrial worker may have less reason to make a profile, but it should not discourage you from trying it out and presenting yourself professionally online.
Don’t include an objective. Not only do they take up space, but they don’t serve a purpose anymore. Scrap your objective and use that space for more valuable information to help push your resume in the right direction. For example, if your objective section would have normally replaced a key position you used to have, you’d be missing out on all that first impression potential!
If you’ve been in multiple positions in your field in the past, you’ll want to make this the primary focus of your resume. Highlight your achievements in each position, and don’t repeat yourself. You’ll want a list of things that you are proud of, as well as things that will show off your abilities to the employer. A great and well-articulated work history could be the one thing that gets you the interview.
Your education or tech school certification is your bread and butter if you don’t have any experience. If you’ve been in many positions in the past, it’s important to mention this but not so much as to give it the spotlight instead of your experience in the field.
Don’t go for the “team player,” “hard-working,” or “problem solver” types of words, unless they are descriptive of your job performance. If you want to use these types of phrases, show it in your resume instead of saying it. Describe situations in your education or past work experience where you were a team player, hard worker, or problem solver, and use numbers or proof to show how you achieved these things. Just the words alone won’t cut it.
No work experience past 10+ years
Employers won’t want to know about your job in high school, or anything beyond 10+ years ago. Keep your experience section relevant with only the most-recent positions. A good thing to keep in mind is the balance of information and brevity; you don’t want to make your resume too long (over one page), and adding non-relevant positions will take space away from other sections that matter more.
Your skills section should contain everything relevant to the job that you feel you excel in at an above-average level. Many people make the mistake of including skills that are either irrelevant to the job position (for example, machinery experience for a writing job), or they include a skill that they have very little experience with. Keep your skills centered and honest.
Do not include “References available upon request”
If the employer wants references, they will most-likely ask for them, so there’s no point in including this part in your resume. It’s just more clutter that they probably won’t read.
As a side note, it is important to keep references, but they should only be references you’ve asked permission for first. Don’t give out a “reference” for a person who isn’t expecting a call or email. It isn’t appropriate and could burn future bridges with past supervisors.
Also, remember to keep your references updated; don’t keep around references who may give a bad review!