How to Write a Resume
Your resume is your calling card to the professional world. It is a miraculous compact form of listing your every achievement, membership, success, and degree in one page. Before we dive into the creation of a resume, it is important to realize that a resume is different from a CV. A CV (Curriculum Vita) is often used when seeking jobs. However, you will not need a CV (or even be asked for one or have enough information to create one) until you are well into your profession at mid-age. Medical professions and University Level Professors often require CVs. However, you will have already completed your doctorates by the time you are ready to write a CV.
For the sake of this guide, you will be writing a resume. A resume generally covers only one typed page of information. If you write and submit a two page resume, many employers may tear off the second page, throw it away, and never look at the best part of your resume. While frustrating, you may have to cut pieces off of your resume before you finalize it. Likewise, you may have to stretch around to find jobs and pieces to put on the resume to fatten it a bit.
There are various ways to create a resume. Many programs exist on Microsoft Word or WordPerfect that will help you design the best resume for your personality. You can add icons to make it sparkle or keep it conservative and simple. Ultimately, it is your choice on how you want to design your resume, for it will represent you to all employers. Here is a sample conservative resume.
At the end of a resume, many people write in fine print, "references available upon request" or for creative jobs, "portfolio available upon request." These lines are unnecessary and cluttering. Your interviewer will automatically ask you for references or extra pieces from a portfolio if they are needed.
All portions of your resume can be rearranged and reorganized. If you are a recent graduate, then your education is the strongest point of your resume and should go before work experience. If you have been out of school and have a long list of prevalent jobs, then Work Experience should go first. You can add more categories and divide up your experience into different fields. You can even have several resumes available for your different fields of interest. You can add a section for publications, awards, scholarships, etc. You do not need to put your high school listed on your resume under Education, unless it is a highly regarded national institution that may help you secure a job. If you have more than one degree (or attended more than one university in your undergraduate career), you should put all universities on your resume. If you have a large amount of work experience and cannot fit two schools and several jobs on one page, then you can cut out the additional school. You must include your degree granting institution in your resume regardless of space.
Have fun experimenting with style and format. Try out several different looks and orders. Make sure you put everything you have accomplished on your resume. This is no place for modesty. Boast of your accomplishments on this page because it is the only document that your employers will have to assess you. They will have an enormous stack of papers and have only the stack to judge. Make your resume shine. It is the vehicle to get you the interview, where you can secure the job.