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Formatting your Resume

Resumes are the first thing most employers see when considering candidates. A resume must be concise, honest, thorough, and customized to the job posting. Drafting a resume is a daunting task at any time in life, whether as an experienced professional or a high school graduate. The key to an outstanding resume is organization and perfection.

Format

Ideal fonts for a resume include Georgia, Corbel, and Verdana. All three of these fonts are comprised of clear, thin characters that are well spaced while not being too spread out. Avoid reducing any part of your resume to a font size lower than 12. Use a full line under your name in the heading and underlines for subheadings in the resume. Finally, all subheadings should use all capital letters as opposed to bold type. This makes the headers easy to read without detracting from the bold text.

Heading

The first section at the top of a resume is a header. Headers should list your full contact information including name, address, phone number, fax number, and email address. Your name should be the largest thing on the page, ideally size 16 and in bold. Your contact information should be much smaller, ideally size 9, and separated with special characters such as dots or dashes.

Experienced Professional

If you have more than five years of experience in your current line of work, then you are considered an experienced professional. Show off your experience by having a first section titled, “Summary of Qualifications”. Use this section to showcase your specific experience and expertise. For instance, if you are an attorney, list specifically the types of law you’ve practiced and what you did within each field. Continue your resume with a list of “Experience” that specifies your past employers and end it with a section for your “Education.”

College Graduate

Employers focus on hiring entry-level professionals that have proven stats through school. Start off your resume with a section titled, “Academic and Professional Accomplishments.” In this section, list out the honors earned that are applicable for the job. For instance, it’s one thing to say that you graduated with a 3.8 GPA with a degree in software engineering, it’s much more persuasive to then break down that GPA by listing things such as, “4.0 in java development.” Don’t forget to also list any internships completed in this section. Separate out each different area of experience with a bullet point.

High School Student

As a high school student, you won’t have the educational requirements of college-level applicants, so experience is where you’ll want to focus. Title your first section, “Previous Experience” and write in sentences from anything you have done that meets the employer’s requirements. For instance, if applying for a position with a call center, list out any sales or customer service experience. The second section should be “Accomplishments and Certifications.” Here, show that you are a responsible high school student and list accomplishments such as National Honor’s Society or certifications such as CPR or a Food Handler’s Card.

The most important thing to remember when making a resume is to be honest. Finally, always have your resume reviewed by at least three other people for mistakes. The worst way to introduce yourself to an employer is with grammatical or spelling errors in your resume.