We have received various questions about proper resume format. Should my education be featured at the bottom of my resume? Should I include special skills, interests or hobbies? Should my most recent job/role be featured at the top of my resume? Should I include every major role or position I have held?
The format of your resume should reflect where you currently are in your career or educational track. For current students that may be applying for internships, education and anticipated graduation dates should be featured at the top. For more senior, seasoned professionals, education is moved to the bottom. These professionals may also consider which roles to feature (a 6-month stint in an unrelated industry might be eliminated), and sections like 'hobbies/interests' may not be as necessary. Remember, a strong resume is intended to be an efficient, effective advertisement that markets your successes. Even the most experienced professional should not have a resume that exceeds 1.5-2 pages in length!
At the end of the day, there are accepted standards for resume formatting and subheadings, but, they are very intuitive. Your most recent role (e.g., Microsoft Corporation, 2007-Present) should be featured first. This makes intuitive sense--the skills required of your most recent role should also be immediately transferable to the role to which you are applying. A 'skills' section may not be necessary for everyone, but for a computer programmer, a skills section is critical. 'Hobbies/interests' help to give your resume a human face, however, they should not detract from the focus of your resume--and many seasoned professionals may feel this section is unnecessary.
Many job applicants use a Microsoft Word template to start building their resume. Others may choose to build their own resume template. After considering your career track and the basic skeleton of your resume, remember to put yourself in the position of the recruiter/employer or admissions committee. Try to objectively evaluate your materials.
Your resume should be polished and compelling. There should be a balance of text and 'white space.' In terms of format and resume templates, always err on the side of formal and traditional rather than edgy and hip (even if you are applying for an internship at an alternative music magazine). A great resume can market your skills, demonstrate your business acumen and show that you are ready to 'hit the ground running.''
If you have other questions about resumes--formatting, content, positioning, etc.--please do not hesitate to ask!
All my best,
Ivy Eyes Editinghttp://www.ivyeyesediting.com
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