Resume Basics: Content and Design
This outline provides important information about both the content and design of an effective résumé.
- Name, address, telephone, e-mail address, web site address (All your contact information should go at the top of your résumé like a letterhead)
- Avoid nicknames
- Use a permanent address
- Use a permanent telephone number and include the area code. Record a neutral greeting on your answering machine
- Include an e-mail address. Many employers will find it useful. (Note: Choose an e-mail address that sounds professional. Avoid things like firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Include your web site address only if the web page reflects your professional ambitions
- Put your name, phone number and e-mail address on the top-right hand corner of your second page in case the pages are separated
- Work Experience
- Briefly give the employer an overview of your work experience.. Use action words to describe your job duties.
- Include your work experience in reverse chronological order – that is, put your last job first and work backward to your first job.
- 10 years is probably sufficient unless there is a job in your distant past that is relevant to your current career goals
- Title of position
- Name of organization
- Location of work (city, country)
- Dates of employment (just the years, not the months)
- Describe your work responsibilities with emphasis on specific skills and achievements
- New graduates without a lot of work experience should list their educational information before work experience.
- Your most recent educational information is listed first
- Include your degree (B.Sc., B.A., PhD. etc.), major (if relevant), institution attended
- Mention academic honors
- Other information
- You may want to add:
- Volunteer experience
- Hobbies (these are rarely relevant but may be useful if they show team work)
- Sports (use only if you are a mature worker, that will show that you are active and fit)
- Do not list your references on your resume. You may note at the bottom of your resume “References furnished on request” but this is not necessary.
- Ask people if they are willing to serve as references before you give their names to a potential employer.
- Your reference list should be written down on a separate page to minimize errors.
- Put your contact information on the top of the reference list so it is not misfiled.
- Make sure that the names are spelt correctly and that the phone numbers, addresses and e-mail addresses are correct and current.
These tips will make your resume easier to read and/or scan into an employer’s data base.
- Use white or off-white paper (colours, including pale grey and pale blue, distort when FAXed)
- Use 8-1/2- x 11-inch paper
- Print on one side of the paper only
- Use a font size of 10 to 14 points
- Use basic fonts (Times New Roman, Courier, etc.)
- Choose one font and stick to it
- Avoid italics, script, and underlined words
- Do not use horizontal or vertical lines, graphics, or shading
- Do not fold or staple your resume
- If you must mail your resume, put it in a large envelope