Land an interview with your well-honed resumé.
Whether you're looking to begin your career or advance to a position of greater prominence and responsibility, your resumé can make the difference between landing that all-important interview or getting passed over. This is why your resumé must be in top form - in both format and appearance - before submitting it for consideration.
To develop a resumé that stands out among the competition, consider the following suggestions and sample resumes. Your career services advisor also can offer valuable resumé tips.
Choose the Optimal Format
Are you an entry-level candidate or do you have several years' experience?
Are you conducting a transition search or trying to secure a position similar to your current job? Are your current job title and responsibilities marketable toward your new career objective?
Generally, if you're seeking a position that's considered the next logical move up the organizational chart - where your current job title and skills are marketable toward the desired position - a chronological resumé is probably best. If you're conducting a transition search, where your current job title and skills are not directly applicable to your objective, a skill-based or functional resumé likely will be most effective.
Evaluate your resumé format based on results. How many calls have you received compared to the number of resumés you've submitted? An effective resumé will yield approximately one call for every 10 resumés submitted. If your resumé isn't drawing attention, it's time to fine tune or change formats.
Focus on Appearance
In one study, 60 percent of employers said they formed an opinion of a candidate based on resumé appearance alone. While many resumés are submitted electronically, with companies providing a template in which to insert the contents of your resumé, it's important to have a finely tuned and polished paper resumé to take to the interview. To this end, consider the following
- Don't crowd information onto the page; use ample margins and subheadings, thereby increasing readability.
- Proofread your resumé several times before printing the final draft.
- Use off-white or white textured bond paper. Never use colored paper.
- Generally, if you're an entry-level candidate, your resumé should be one page.
- If you have several years' experience, your resumé will probably extend beyond one page, but remember:
- Always begin page two with a major subheading.
- Only use two pages if the material is meaningful and marketable toward your objective.
- Don't exceed two pages.
The examples linked below are PDFs. You will need the Acrobat Reader to view a PDF file. Click here to download Acrobat Reader.
Chronological Resumés (with experience)
Skill-Based or Functional (with experience)