Creative Job Search
On-line Job Search Guide

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Resume Content

Name Block

Use your full first name. Avoid using nicknames that are "cutesy" or "pet names." If you have a preference to be called by a shortened version of your full name, then it is acceptable to put this name in parentheses or quotes (e.g., Elizabeth and prefer to be called "Betty"). Your address should not contain abbreviations. Make sure your phone number includes the area code. Also, provide a phone number where you can be reached at all times, either by an answering machine, or an alternate message number. Do not put your name and address on one line for a scannable resume as the computer may be confused by this format. Typing your name in bold, and/or all capitals will make it stand out.

ELIZABETH "BETTY" APPLICANT
1443 Hire Me Lane
Employability, Minnesota 55555
555-555-5555

Employment or Career Objective

Include an objective when you are pursuing a specific job goal, or when you know the exact title of the position for which you are applying. The objective targets your resume, but also limits its use to those jobs that match your goal. Therefore, the objective may be considered an optional part of your resume. If you do not include an objective, be sure to state it in your cover letter. Summary of Qualifications and Accomplishments A summary of your qualifications and accomplishments highlights skills that support your job goals. It can include key skills, employment related accomplishments, and personal attributes.

Employment History

List your most recent employment first. A general standard is, "List the last three jobs, or the last 10 years, whichever comes first." Focus on recent jobs and those that are most appropriate to your goals. If you have large gaps in employment, or have changed jobs frequently, consider using a functional resume. How you use your resume and the makeup of your experience, will determine the amount of information to include. Many job seekers, and employers, use the resume as a substitute application (this is very useful if the application works against your qualifications). As a substitute application the resume should include employer contact information. Many resumes list only employer name, city and state. Contact information is provided through an employment application or reference sheet. One advantage in limiting this information is to keep the resume focused on your qualifications. Also, some people may not want a prospective employer to be able to easily reach a previous employer. Ultimately the choice is yours. There is no one standard that fits all situations.

Organizations

List organizational memberships related to your job goal and show professional standing. Avoid using non-employment related or controversial organizations. Generally, it is best NOT to mention specific religious or political affiliations, or other potentially controversial groups, unless they directly relate to the job you want.

Awards or Recognition

Let the employer know of any awards or recognition you have received, (e.g., employee of the month, etc.), if it is timely and appropriate.

Education:

If your skill and experience come from employment, then list employment first and education last. List education first, if the emphasis is on education, i.e., a recent graduate. If you are a college graduate, state the name of the institution, location (city and state), degree earned, and field of study.

Additional Points to Consider Regarding Education

Military

Include military experience that fills gaps in employment or supports your job goal as part of your work history. "Civilianize" your military language, (e.g., NCOIC to Supervisor).

Hobbies/Personal Interests

Include hobbies/personal interests if they are employment related, they are not controversial, and they show skill and experience.

References

Do not include references on the resume. Do not use the statement, "References available upon request." It is assumed by most employers that you will provide them with this information. Once an employer requests references, be prepared to give them 3 to 5 references who can speak about your work habits and professional qualifications. Always seek permission before using someone as a reference.

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This page was last updated on April 17, 1997
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Copyright © 1996, 1997 by Minnesota Department of Economic Security