Why have a resume? This piece of paper represents you and is the most important document in earning your next career role. Hiring managers, human resource personnel or recruiters may be sorting through many resumes for the position. You have only 10 – 20 seconds to attract their interest. If your resume does not present well, then you limit your chance of being contacted.

How to Write Your Resume

Contact Information: Place this information at the very top.

  • Name: Use your first and last name but make sure you use the name you prefer to be called.
  • Address: City, State and Zip Code
  • Telephone numbers: List relevant contact numbers, including your cell phone. MAKE SURE ANY NUMBER THAT YOU LIST HAS VOICEMAIL.

Objective: This 2 – 3 sentence statement explains your career achievements and your future goals. It is important to sell yourself in this section to keep the reader interested in reviewing your resume.

Spelling and English: We can’t emphasize how important it is that your spelling and grammar are correct. A hiring manager, human resource officer or recruiter will likely pass on your resume if these details are not perfect. We suggest candidates have multiple people read it to confirm there are no spelling or grammatical errors.

Job Chronology: A chronologically formatted resume is preferred. The job order begins with current employment and continues through your job history to the earliest position. Include the MONTH AND YEAR when you began and concluded each position. If it is a current employer just put Present. If there are any gaps in your employment, explain why. Additionally, it can be helpful to include a brief description of each company where you worked.

Bullet Points: These brief statements tell your story. Always keep them short and direct, using strong action words. Never under-sell yourself but do not exaggerate either.

Your resume content should answer these questions:

  • When did you work for the companies present and past?
  • What was your job title and what responsibilities did you have in that position?
  • What were some of your achievements?
  • Did you list everything you feel is important about your experience and skills?

File Format: The file format of your resume is very important. If the client is unable to open your resume because it is in an atypical format, then they will likely pass on viewing it. It is highly suggested that you use MS WORD or save it in a PDF format.

Length: If you are fairly new to the job market then one page should be sufficient. In the event you are seasoned professional try to limit your resume to two pages. You should be able to tell your story in two pages while keeping in mind that you have only 10-20 seconds to catch the reviewer’s attention.

Match: The information in your resume needs to match the experience that the client requires for the role.

References: Never list any of your references on your resume. Always include “References available upon request”. Some recruiters may try to contact your references to solicit business. This is common practice for some recruitment agencies. At Top People USA, we will never do this.

Example of a resume

Microsoft Word Version click here.

Adobe Acrobat Version click here.

Only you can tell your story so make sure you invest time and effort into your resume. Remember your resume represents you and your way to getting in the door!