When deciding to look for a job, special attention should be paid to your resume. And even if you are looking for your first job, chances are you have several things you can include on a resume.
Your resume can open with your objective. The objective is a short sentence or two telling the reader a little about why you are applying for a particular position. It’s fine to include special qualities you have such as never having been late for work or you pay particular attention to detail. Leave out details like you are friendly and outgoing or you dress professionally or always have a smile on your face!
As mentioned before, most computers have at least one template for organizing a resume. You should always give basic information about your education. That doesn’t mean to include the name of the elementary and middle schools you attended. You should begin with your high school education and then any college or technical school you attended. You can give the dates of high school graduation and dates of attendance at further education. Never say that you graduated from college or technical school unless you did. A potential employer might ask to see your degree or certificate. If you can’t provide one, that will sink your chances while not having one may not be a deal breaker.
In addition to college or technical school that you completed, you can list any special awards you received, such as Dean’s List. But don’t make reference to getting a certificate for perfect attendance in elementary school. Think about what will impress a potential employer.
In listing your education, you should state what your course of study was or is if you are still attending. For example, if you have a Bachelor of Science degree, be sure to include the actual course of study such as accounting, criminal justice, biology, etc. The type of degree or certificate you received can cover a wide range of study so be specific.
If you are seeking your first job, then obviously you don’t have work experience to list. However, chances are good that you have done some type of volunteer work. Be sure to list that. You might have been a tutor or helped build houses with Habitat for Humanity. Any type of volunteer work can show your prospective employer that you have been active in the community.
A resume showing your work experience should start with your most recent employment history. Give the name of the company and the dates you worked there. Then list job duties but stick with the most important job duties. IF you were a switchboard operator, it’s not necessary to list things like “answered telephone, transferred calls, took messages”, etc. Most everyone knows what a switchboard operator does without you giving minute details. But if you were a switchboard operator and also did something unrelated, such as created the company newsletter, be sure to list that.
After listing your most recent job, then go on to the job you had before that. Never ever jump around with putting down your jobs. And if you were unemployed for any length of time, it’s a good idea to give the reason why. It could easily be that you were getting more education or caring for a sick or elderly parent and even having a baby.
It’s not necessary to list every job you ever had. If you happen to be near my age, then you are going to have a very long resume! It’s best to just show your last 10 years of employment if you’ve been working that long.
It’s also not necessary to include information like your date of birth, your marital status, how many children you may have or what church you attend unless of course you are applying for a position with a church or religious organization. Remember you are applying for a job, not applying for adoption!
Once you have completed your resume, use spellcheck to search for any misspelled words. Even after that, it’s always a good idea to have someone else read your resume to critique it. Someone else may have an idea that would make your resume more professional.
And lastly, always take a clean copy of your resume when you are applying for a position. No coffee stains, grass stains or any of that. Stains indicate a laziness and a lack of caring that will not endear you to potential employers.