HR Insights

4 Resume Best Practices

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May 27, 2014
Resume Best PracticesWhen it comes to resumes and how they are written, there are still a lot of old practices that unfortunately, are still being included in today’s resumes. The best resume practices however keep the resume very simple, while still giving potential employers a clear view of what job experience you have and what you’ve done in the past.

Here are the four best resume practices you’ll want to follow when writing your own.

  • General Qualifications at the Top – Many people still think that the best resumes start with an objective at the very top, outlining the type of job you’re looking for, and the type of employment being sought. This is a practice that shouldn’t be included today but instead, should be replaced with a summary of general qualifications, such as a proficiency in computer skills. If you’re a new graduate, this is also the section in which you should include that information.
  • Employment History after General Qualifications – After the qualifications section, you can begin listing your employment history. Each job or position should be listed in chronological order, with the most recent listed first. Each listing should include: the company name, the title of the position held, the dates of employment, and the responsibilities held during that time listed in bullet points. The first four bullets should be the responsibilities you had every single day, with more seldom or random responsibilities listed below. Lastly, use three to four bullet points to fully explain responsibilities that weren’t necessarily yours, but that you went “above and beyond” to do.
  • Job History No More Than Last 10 Years – Be sure that when listing your job history, you include no more than the last ten years. Anything more will be much too long for the employer to skim through, and may likely no longer be relevant to the position you’re currently applying for.
  • Education and Software Skills at Bottom of the Resume – Know what to include at the bottom of the resume. Traditionally people have made the mistake of placing hobbies, personal groups, and references at the bottom of their resume. There’s no place for these in today’s resumes though. Work history is the priority of employers, and you may be able to tell them about any hobbies or personal interests pertaining to the job during the interview. After your qualifications and work experience, your education (If you’re a new grad, education should be at top in summary of qualifications) and software skills should be listed, without dates beside them. It’s also here that you can list any professional organizations that you belong to. References should never be included on a resume, not even on a separate page, but rather be given at the time of interview when requested.

Writing a resume requires certain knowledge and a certain skill. The most important thing is that you know what you need to include within your resume, and what you need to leave out. Employers aren’t going to spend hours riffling through pages and pages of a resume for just one person. Be sure to keep it concise, be clear about what you’ve done in the past, and you’ll be well on your way to landing that next step – the interview!