I’m Nathan, a Workforce Facilitator at the PA CareerLink® South Central Region and I get a lot of questions about how to write resumes.
Have you ever been asked to create Resume and had trouble getting started? That’s a very normal feeling, but hopefully we can remove some of that anxiety.
In this article, we’re going to answer some of the most common questions we get about writing a resume. If you have more questions that we didn’t answer here, please email us or comment under our video at the top.
What should be on your resume?
Your resume should be a marketing tool to sell yourself as the perfect person for the position you’re applying to. For each resume, you’ll want to highlight only the accomplishments and skills that are relevant to the job at and. You don’t want to or need to include your whole work history, but tailor your resume to the position and job description. Tailoring your resume is the process of matching your resume to the job description. All the resumes you send out should be tailored to the position.
There are a few sections that most if not all resumes should have:
- Personal Information such as your name, home address, phone number, and email address
- Your relevant work history
- Educational achievements such as degrees, awards, and relevant projects
- Skills and Accomplishments
How do you write a resume without much experience?
Creating a resume with minimal experience can seem overwhelming. In this situation, highlight your educational achievements, including certifications or relevant projects you have worked on. Additionally, you should include a summary of your skills and working strengths that may serve in place if your work history. This is called a functional resume and it emphasizes your ability to adapt and learn in a new position, despite minimal work experience.
How do you format your resume?
Keep it Simple. Your primary goal is to make your resume as easy to read for the hiring manager as possible. This means using basic fonts such as Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri, and Helvetica, using 11-14 point font, and 1.5-2 paragraph spacing.
Additionally, you want to keep everything consistent. If you use one type of heading for one section, use that same heading throughout or if you use a type of bullet point in your work history, use that same bullet style in your skills. The main focus us readability for the hiring manager. If your resume is harder to read due to using different fonts, spacing, or other inconsistencies, a hiring manager may not finish the resume.
How do you explain gaps in your work history?
Gaps in your resume feel like a deal breaker, but often aren’t if you talk about them in a way that relevant to your future employer. Talk about the skills you gained such as taking off time to raise children, making you excellent at time management and multitasking. Then get into your relevant work history. Gaps in a resume are not a deal breaker. Many people have responsibilities outside of traditional work that are just as useful for skill development and growth as a job.
How do I make my resume the best it can be?
Proofread, proofread, proofread, and proofread some more. Your write your best resume when you take the time to carefully check it for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Don’t rely solely on spell and grammar check, they can’t catch everything. After writing your resume, take a break, do something else and then look at it with a pair of fresh eyes. You can also ask friends, family or staff at your local PA CareerLink® to look it over for an outside perspective. Often the smallest mistakes are the ones that can determine if you get a call back or not.
Thank you for reading our article and we hope you found this helpful. Feel free to view our video on the same topic and contact us if you have more questions.
Here are some additional resume resources: