Look, you can google “resume tips” and get all the basic information you need on how to make a professional looking document. However, what truly sets you a part? It’s in the details my friend.
Whether you’re tweaking a professional resume for a job or an application for a pageant, these tips will come in handy.
First, the order of importance of how your information should be laid out in a resume:
– Contact Information
– Professional Experience
– Activities and Honors
Below is a sample resume, front and back.
Full name, mailing address, cell phone, and person email is required here. I put mine in the header, so it gives more room for the good stuff. If your email address is not professional in nature or juvenile, just make a new one.
If you’ve been out of college for a while, don’t put your high school graduation GPA or that you even graduated from high school in there. The fact that you’ve graduated from high school is a given.
This is the meat and potatoes of your resume. List your most recent first. Depending on how long you’ve been in the workplace, don’t list all your jobs. About 10-15 years is all you need to go back. If you’ve got early jobs listed, especially those that didn’t give you a ton of experience, just drop them all together. When you get that interview and they ask the “tell me about yourself” question, you can give them a quick overview of your early career.
Here’s a biggy…. equivalate your experiences to numbers and growth. Saying you led your team in doing something, how many was on your team? You say you grew your numbers, from what to what and in what amount of time. The more specific, the better. You managed a budget? What was that budget number? Question each of your bullets and think how you can make it more detailed.
Just like with your Professional Experience, list your most recent first. It’s probably not necessary that you have Cheer Captain on your resume, unless of course, that was last year.
What throws out more resumes than anything is the functuay of the document. It needs to visually be appealing and correct. You don’t have to have a graphic design background to make it look pretty. In fact, Microsoft Word is amazing and can give you a template. But you still need to follow these rules:
♦ Your resume should be no more than two pages (that means one page, front and back).
♦ Use the same font throughout. No whimsical fonts. Good ol’ Times New Roman never goes out of style.
♦ You must have the exact space gaps throughout. If you have a size 14 space between your headers, you better have size 14 for every header.
♦ Use the same font size for the body of the text.
♦ Periods should be used at the end of each line in your bulleted Professional Experiences.
♦ Use past tense. The past experiences you’ve had need to be in past tense. I also like to have my current position in past tense too, so it has a nice flow and truly, even if you’re in that current position, your duties you list are technically in past tense. You could have your current position’s bullets in present tense as well. It can go either way.
♦ Unless asked for, don’t put references on your resume. Listing references is a tad old school anymore because if they’re on as a reference, they’re going to say amazing things about you. However, if they do ask for them, make sure you let your references know that they’ll be listed.
♦ Don’t use acronyms. List everything out. Don’t assume the reader knows what you’re talking about, ever.
♦ Always save as a pdf before submitting. Never send a Word doc resume or application.
All in all, keep your resume or application simple, yet descriptive and correct. You want to blow the reader away and make it easy to navigate the information.
And when you’re done, ask a friend to review quick. It’s not embarrassing to ask someone to edit, in fact, they’ll be flattered.
Katie Stien is a wife, mom of two boys, meeting expert, pig show regular and cowboy boot aficionado. She is also a past title holder, pageant coordinator of more than 12 years, an agriculture advocate and enjoys helping youth be the best versions of themselves. Through Katie’s professional and personal career, she saw a need to connect those in the industry; hence how Queen Connection was born.