There are several factors that are essential to a strong resume.
Make it attractive and organized by being consistent! Be sure to use tabs instead of spacing. Each element should be presented identical way from section to section. For example, if you center and bold a heading, center and bold all of your headings. If you indent your experience under an employer, do same for rest. If you use just years for a position held, do not use months for other positions. If you skip one line between two sections, skip only one line between all sections. When you are done, examine format. Does it look uniformed?
Many job seekers make mistake of creating a simple, hard-to-read heading or “Resume Letterhead.” To start your resume off right, bold and capitalize your name and make it at least a 16-point font size. Place your address in an interesting way. For example. break address up on either side of name, placed in center, and add a line to separate name and address from body of resume.
Indicate your objective so reader doesn’t have to guess. Instead of using an objective statement that really doesn’t say anything specific, place an objective title in its place, all caps and bold. Or:
Wrong/boring/cliché: OBJECTIVE: Seeking to secure a growth-oriented position utilizing my experience and education.
Alternative: traditional/focused: OBJECTIVE: Customer service representative with five years of experience in automotive manufacturing seeking a sales position with a major auto dealership.
List several key qualifications (hard skills) that match requirements of a position. This could include length of experience, type of experience (i.e. sales, customer service, technical expertise, licenses, certifications, and degree).
Sparingly list soft skills and personality traits well suited for position. This should not be confused with qualifications. This could include strong communication skills used as a group presenter, excellent time management skills, people-oriented, project-oriented, team leadership, problem solving skills, mathematical aptitude, confidentiality, patient advocate, etc.
Provide a presentation of where you worked, in what positions, and for how long. Convey what positions were about and what your main responsibilities were. Take into consideration who you reported to, if you supervised and trained anyone, who your customers were, how you interacted with them, what type of projects you worked on, if you handled monies or managed budgets, if you utilized computer to retrieve and update information, etc.
If you possess certain technical skills such as patient care, computer systems, automotive repair, scientific R&D, etc., be sure to emphasize it in a situational way to show reader how you used these skills. If you have extensive computer skills, be sure to create a separate category called Technical Expertise.
List accomplishments to show you make a difference in workplace. This could include process improvements, streamlining workflow efficiencies, training others when a new computer system was implemented, starting up a new department, etc. You can include your accomplishment directly under each position or in a separate category called Accomplishments, Achievements, or Contributions.