What to do…
I truly hope you weren’t looking for one universal formatting methodology because, in truth, there is no cookie-cutter way of writing a resume. What works best for one person may not be best for another. Some people will benefit from a Chronological resume whereas that format may be detrimental to someone who has jumped around a bit in their career. Some people may be competent enough to write a targeted, job-specific resume for each position they plan to apply for. Other people may not have that luxury.
The only thing I can suggest is that you do your homework. Know the different types of resumes (Chronological, Functional, Targeted, and Combination) and know the distinct merits of each. Then make an informed decision as to which style is best for you.
If you have a lot of experience to speak about, I recommend a two-page resume. Do not try and condense everything to fit on one page since that’s no longer the norm when it comes to resumes. If you want to take it one step further, write your two-pager for passing out electronically and then prepare a one-pager as well which you can physically hand to hiring managers.
If you are a recent graduate or applying for more entry-level positions, a one-page resume should be perfectly sufficient. Highlight your acquired skills and sum up how they would translate into the position you are applying for. But keep it short and sweet. For these types of jobs, you just want to entice the reader to call you in for an interview. And that’s when you turn on the charm!
Other than that, there are a few other tricks of the trade. For instance, make sure you use appropriate spacing throughout your resume. You want it flow nicely, not only in language but in appearance. And if you plan on sending out your resume electronically, never use anything smaller than a 12 size font. Anything less than that and it can get difficult to read.
If you choose to write your own resume, make sure to have someone edit and review it for you. Remember to include all your current contact info on the header of the resume as well. That means full address, email, and any phone numbers you don’t mind sharing. Give a hiring manager plenty of ways to get in touch with you and maybe…just maybe…they will!
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