How to Create a Professional Looking Resume

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A resume provides a picture of who you are professionally and should sell your experience to prospective employers. When applying for a job, you want a resume that explains who you are in a way that will stand out and make the employer want to hire you. If you want to create a more professional-looking resume, you can do so in a way that highlights your skills and promotes your experience and education. Use a word-processing program that contains resume templates that accentuate your career path.

  • Develop your resume's objective. Explain what you can offer an employer as well as how your career goals dovetail with the job you're seeking. You might mention your educational experience and customer service skills, for example. You may also be looking to learn more from the job you choose and to build on what you already know. Whatever it is, be sure it sounds professional. The objective should be the top heading of your resume.

  • List your experience next. Write down the places you've been employed in the last 10 to 20 years, but if you haven't been at your jobs very long, try to list only four places you've been employed. Be sure to list dates you began each job and when each job ended. Briefly describe what your duties were at each job and what your title was. List the most recent jobs first.

  • Provide your educational experience. The third part of your resume should include any schooling you've had from high school through college education. Be sure to put dates attended and dates graduated so an employer knows if you've obtained a diploma or a degree. The more the educational experience, the more professional the resume.

  • Highlight any skills that you have. Your professional resume should tell an employer what skills you can offer the company. These might include certifications, such as the proof of completion of a CPR or first-aid class. Any certifications listed on your resume will help an employer take notice.

  • Conclude the resume with some professional references. Some people just state, "References available upon request," and you can do this, but most employers want a list of people they can contact before they interview you just to see if meeting you is worth their time. An employer may overlook a resume that does not have a reference list.

Tips & Warnings

  • Professional resumes should always be printed on plain white paper and never enhanced with colors.
  • The best format for a resume is to have your name, address, phone number and email listed at the top of the page. That way, employers can see it and grab the information quickly.
  • It's best to keep your resume to approximately a page if you can. If you have great experience and want to show it off, two pages is fine, but don't go beyond that.
  • Keep your resume margins at 1 inch all around so that it looks more professional.
  • Never fold a resume unless you are mailing it to the employer. Take a clean, uncreased resume with you when applying or employment (or to an interview) and place it in a folder for a more professional look.

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