Your resume should speak about you in a concise and professional manner. Your resume is your advertisement, your way of selling your skills, talents, potentials and qualifications to your prospective employer. And as with any form of advertisement, your resume should be enticing with a professional looking layout but not too bland that the recruiter will fail to notice. But most importantly, your resume should contain substantial information. A prospective employer can look way past the plainness of your resume if it has substance. A substantial resume worthy of the employer's consideration should contain five vital sections. This article will enumerate and expound on each as you read along.
1. Personal Information. This is self-explanatory as, without this, your prospective employer would have no means of reaching you for possible interviews or examinations. Nowadays, it is also a must to include your mobile number and e-mail address if you have one or both.
2. Objective or Purpose of Applying. Every applicant is encouraged to include this information so the recruiter will have an idea of the position you are applying for and can give you tests appropriate in screening for that position. Or if no vacancy is available, this will guide the recruiter as to what other open and related positions you can be screened for. Below is an example of a resume objective:
Objective: Research Assistant To seek an assistant position in the field of dental research, with emphasis on new and innovative concepts on dental engineering and materials and its application to clinical practice.
3. Educational Background. If you are a fresh graduate with a year or less worth of professional experience, some say it is acceptable to include your secondary and even your primary or elementary school background especially if you graduated from a notable school. And since you need other pertinent data to prove your worth, you may include seminars, workshops or trainings that you have undergone as this may improve your chances of being considered.
Otherwise, if you are seeking for a senior position, meaning you have several years of professional experience to support this objective, your tertiary educational background will suffice. These should include where and when did you earn your bachelor's degree and other post-graduate achievements, professional certifications like licensure exam achievements and other academic achievements. You may include your GPA if it is worth noting. No matter what educational background data you present, the rule of thumb is that a chronologic order should be used, listing the most recent to the oldest.
4. Work experience. You can either use a chronological style where the list of experiences are sorted by date with the most recent being first, or you could use a functional style where the list is sorted with the most relevant being on top. These should include professional experiences that are only related to the position desired or which matches the job requirements set by the employer. Or you could use a combination of both styles.
Include in your work experience the positions you held, the duration that you held each respective position and the companies that you have worked for. Include the specific tasks that you performed and the skills required for each previous position like for example, research planning and execution, statistical analysis, etc. Your specific achievements like for example, an increase in sales or a return of investments, which can be directly attributed to your efforts should also be included and quantified if possible.
5. The "Optional" Sections. If you are seeking a computer-related or an office work position, then you should include valuable computer skills such as familiarity with different operating systems and other computer applications such as word and spreadsheet processors, software and other platforms, etc. Language skills are compulsory if you are seeking a position in customer service, tourism, foreign and diplomatic relations and probably in hotel and restaurant businesses, as well. Member associations are included if you feel it will improve your chances of being considered. The rule of thumb is to include these data if it is strongly related to the position you are applying for.
Some employers perform a thorough background check of their prospective employees. So unless it is being asked, you need not include a set of references on your resume. Although when it is required, advise your friends or colleagues that you will include them as your references and that someone from the company you are applying at might call and ask them about you. It is actually more preferable to include previous employers instead, except if the separation from your previous employer was not in good terms.