Writing a Strong Job Resume

Tips for Highlighting Credentials for Career Advancement

Although workers should be through in describing their qualifications to prospective employers, a job resume should be succinct. Students and recent graduates should try to keep their job resumes under one page. Experienced workers or people changing career paths can extend their job resumes to two or three pages.

Career Objective

Although it is optional, many employers like to see a career objective at the top of a job resume. A career objective is a three to four sentence description of the type of position the worker is seeking, along with a brief overview of the employee’s qualifications and credentials. Objective statements are particularly effective for persons changing careers and reentering the workforce. Those who have jumped between jobs frequently may benefit from a career objective as well, as it shows that they have put thought into their job search.

Resume Body

A job resume should provide an accurate, thorough overview of the prospective employee’s career and educational history. The most common way of presenting information on a job resume is in a reverse chronological format, beginning with the applicant’s education and following up with a listing of their work history. This chronological listing makes it easy for employers to see how the employee’s career has progressed.

A good job resume should not leave any periods of work history unaccounted for. If a worker has been unemployed for long periods of time, she should briefly describe what she did during this time in her resume. If possible, the worker should fill the gaps by discussing volunteer work, travel or personal projects that relate to the job to which she is applying. Workers should not, however, include any information on your resume that indicates their age, gender, marital status or religion.

Workplace Skills

Workers should create separate sections on their job resumes to highlight the skills and experiences that do not fit elsewhere in the document. For example, workers with extensive computer experience should create a separate section on their job resume to discuss the operating systems, programming languages and software with which they are familiar. They should highlight these skills using bulleted lists or tables to make the information easy for employers to scan.

Finishing Touches

Good job resumes should be written in formal English. The final document should contain no spelling, grammar or punctuation errors and read smoothly. If the prospective employee is sending the resume by mail or is hand-delivering it, the resume should be printed in black ink on a cotton-based stock. All resumes, whether printed on paper or posted online, should be printed in an easily readable serif or sans serif font, such as Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri or Cambria.

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