The correct resume format is the first step towards a winning resume

Your Resume

by Stephen Baker

You are reading this article because you are really bored or you find yourself in the job market. Either way, I am glad that you stopped by. The truth about resumes is that they are truly boring, but I am here to help. Let us start with format because that is the one question everyone asks me about. In order of appearance on your resume, starting from the top:

  1. Professional Profile: (You have three seconds, so make it count. Only two to three sentences should be included. Here is my example - pardon the techie slant.) "During my fifteen years in the I.T. industry, I have learned to make decisions based on a combination of reason and practical experience. As demonstrated by my resume, I am a progressive IT leader who has succeeded by a solid business and IT acumen, refined customer management skills, persuasive public speaking, and team development."
  2. Specialties: (This section should align with the job you are applying for.) Global Customer Service Delivery, Application Service Delivery, Management of Application Development and Infrastructure Deployment Teams, and Global IT Operations
  3. Work History: There are two parts to every job: Accomplishments and Duties. You need both to get that next job. For accomplishments, list at least two. You accomplished something. It's time to list it. Use action verbs to start each sentence. Here are some examples: Led, Developed, Created, Organized, Monitored, Resolved, Earned. For duties, list at least five. This should describe what you did or do on a daily basis.
  4. Education
  5. Professional Development and Certifications: Place any seminar, corporate training, course, experience, and certification that supports the job you are applying for.

Additional format guidance:

  • Center each section title in the middle of the page. (If you are using a template, please disregard. Be sure to follow steps 2, 3, and 4.)
  • Use no funky fonts. Stay with Times New Roman or Arial. Stick with 12 Font size.
  • Please use no funky colors. Use black and white only.
  • Select "words" from their job description and use them in your resume. There may be a chance that they are using a resume scanner. This may just increase your chance of getting a human to look at your piece of paper.
  • Any other format guidelines are up to you. Just keep it simple.

Stephen Baker is a Program Director with 15 years of experience in the Fortune500. Over the years, he has been on both sides of the job hunt and offers straight advice on improving one's chances with getting that first interview. You can find more of Stephen's work at The Topeka Examiner.

If you have a resume question, please send it to Stephen here. He can't promise to answer all individually, but many will appear in future Dollar Stretcher issues.

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