What information will you need to write your resume?
Before starting to write your resume, you should gather together all of the information required below.
You will probably not use all of this information in your resume but it will provide you with useful reference material when it comes to preparing for interviews.
Your full name, address, home telephone number and cell phone number. You don't normally need to include your date of birth and marital status on your resume in the USA or Canada (other countries may require this information). Do you have a full driving license? Is it clean? (Only relevant if your job involves driving.)
Education / Qualifications
List your qualifications and education history, for example:
- Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, The University of Tulsa, Oklahoma; 1985; Minors: Chemistry and Mathematics; GPA: 3.0 / 4.0.
If you have a university education you don't normally need to list which high school you attended (unless you feel that this is relevant to the job you are applying for).
List your professional qualifications, membership of professional associations and professional ID numbers.
If you recently completed a university degree or equivalent, then you may want to list the courses you studied if the subjects you studied was relevant to your target job.
List any work related training courses which you attended, including company courses and any you attended on your own initiative. If you obtained a qualification on any course please list it. You only need to list the important courses you attended; no one really cares if you went on a time management course as everyone gets sent on these courses!
If you have been working for a number of years you probably do not need to include any part-time jobs, vacation jobs, voluntary work or unpaid work experience. Charity work could be included in your interests. However you might want to include these jobs if they covered a period of unemployment, or a time when you were not working for any other reason, or you feel that some of the experience you gained will be useful in your next job. You should normally concentrate on your two most recent jobs (unless you were only there for a short time), because employers are usually most interested in these.
Start with your most recent or last job and work backwards. For each position (treat internal promotion as a new job and record the dates separately) list your job title (e.g. Manager, Supervisor, etc), the job title of the person you reported to (e.g. Director, Manager, etc) and when you started and finished in each job. Give the name of the company and include a brief description of the service they provide (using the terms they would use to describe themselves). Set out your main responsibilities, achievements, duties, and skills that could be transferred to another employer. Be specific and positive about your skills, e.g. 'good written skills' may be a better description of your abilities rather than 'good communication skills'.
Include your level of responsibility if any, e.g. 'responsibility for departmental budget of $100K and managed 10 staff'. In particular list any achievements you had in each position, including increases in sales/productivity and cost savings made. Quantify your achievements if possible. 'Increased sales by $100K' is more interesting and positive than just saying 'Increased sales'. You should try to include some achievements such as meeting deadlines, budgets, etc, and any information that may be relevant to your next job.
When you are listing your achievements in this section, only list 3 to 6 of your most important work achievements; your other achievements can be described under the work experience section. You should only list achievements which are relevant to your next job and indicate how you achieved them.
This section is very important as an employer will only invite you for an interview if they can see a benefit in doing so. Your achievements may sell you to an employer and make them choose you for an interview rather than someone else. For this reason it is vital that you think carefully about your achievements.
List any computer skills you have, including the make and type of equipment you are familiar with, the software and operating system used, e.g. Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Office XP.
If you have foreign language skills which may be relevant for any jobs which you are applying for, please list them and indicate whether your skills are spoken, written, business or technical. Please also indicate your level of fluency: fluent, good working knowledge, etc. You should only list these skills if they are relevant to the jobs you are applying for as no one really wants to hear about a French language course you did at school a long time ago.
If relevant to your next job please include your typing or shorthand speeds.
Interests / Hobbies
List your interests, hobbies and any sports you play. List any positions of responsibility you hold or have held in any club or organization, and say what your responsibilities and achievements were.
You do not normally need to list referees on a resume, but it is a good idea to think about whom you could ask now.
List your major skills, strengths, personal qualities and achievements. Be specific, e.g. good team player, excellent written skills, versatile, able to motivate others, etc. Look at your staff appraisals or at your references.
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- Why are resumes rejected?
- What information will you need?
- What should you leave out?
- Selecting your resume format
- General resume writing tips
- Example resume performance
- How to write a performance resume
- Resume example functional
- How to write a functional resume
- Sample resume targeted
- How to write a targeted resume
- The alternative resume
- Resume sample student
- Resume template graduate
- How to write a student / graduate resume
- Word-processing and printing
- Cover letters