How To Create Your Own Resumé
Organizing Your Resumé

Most career consultants would agree that an effective resumé is the foundation of every successful job seeking campaign. One fundamental purpose of a resumé is to summarize the key elements of your past working experiences. It is important that your resumé be designed in an acceptable format with employer viewing in mind.

Naturally, a resumé needs to be revised periodically during your career growth to reflect changes in your qualifications. Keep in mind that a good resumé alone will not get you employed; however, it can get you an interview and can influence an employer's perception of your skills, abilities and potential. Another equally important reason for creating a good resumé is self-awareness, and as an inventory and professional assessment of your market value. Your resumé should be viewed as a self-portrait, constantly being up-dated to always reflect your professional vitality and competitive edge.

The organization of the resumé can be adapted as necessary to emphasize an individual's most outstanding professional characteristics. In general, however, the resumé should include the following:

Identification Data (Required)
Include your name, address, and phone number(s) (including area code) and don't forget your e-mail address. After all, you need to show that you are Internet-savvy.

101 Francis Place San Francisco, CA 94101
(415) 666-2222

OBJECTIVE (Optional)
A single phrase expressing the specific type of employment you are seeking and/or career you have identified you wish to pursue. It is recommended that you prepare two or more resumés that reflect different objectives. Once you formulate a clear objective, supply information that supports this objective on the remaining portion of your resumé.

To obtain an entry-level position as an Administrative Assistant or Office Clerk with a company that offers opportunity for both personal and professional growth.

This is what we will call the necessary skills to do the many tasks assigned to you in an administrative or office assistant capacity.

Strong customer service background and excellent communication skills; ability to type 55 words-per-minute with 98% accuracy; well organized and detail oriented; strong ability to handle multiple duties with emphasis on proprietary needs; proven ability for defusing high pressure or tense situations; a quick and dedicated study.

Proficient on PC and MAC platforms. Application knowledge: MS Word, MS Excel, Remedy, Netscape and IE, Outlook Express and Web-based e-mail clients.

Now that you have highlighted your accomplished skills, how can you best reinforce to an employer that you are in fact qualified or have prior experience in applying the various skills listed above?

Summarized paragraphs or a bulleted list of your accomplishments are usually included in functional resumés. Utilize key points which best reflect your abilities. Also, gear your summary/points to the position to which you are applying.

Business Analysis and Development
  • Analyzed and developed new business structure, financial plan, and talent roster of SpringFest Entertainment resulting in 200% increase in net profit over 5 year period.
  • Created structure for profit and loss report and performed monthly analysis for SpringFest.
  • Re-configured market analysis structure and conducted market research, thereby increasing market share for SpringFest.

Don't use dates or position titles. These can be outlined later in a separate section entitled: Work History or Experience.

2000-current Director of Programs The Children's Philharmonic, New York, NY
1995-2000 Business & Talent Agent SpringFest Entertainment, New York, NY
1993-1995 Phone Representative Children Against Violence, New York, NY

Brief summaries of principle employment to date are usually included in a chronological resumé. Starting with your current or most recent position and work backward. Include all relevant employment that is in any way identifiable to the objective listed above. Include the name of your employer(s), the employer's location, your job title, dates of employment, and simple verb phrases to summarize your main activities on the job.

When ever possible quantify and qualify data with specific details and statistics that illustrate your potential. Often times your work history titles may not be directly related to the position you are pursuing; but if you really think about it, there are likely many tasks, duties and responsibilities you performed in your past jobs that are transferable skills you can isolate and identify for your current objective. Customer service and client relations are basically the same thing, only one has a little more experience that the other. If you have learned how to be professional to a customer across the counter, then you can apply those same skills over the phone. Again, by reviewing posted job position and understanding what the employer is looking for, you can write your work history responsibilities using a clever edge tipping in your favor.

7/00-10/01; San Francisco, CA
Customer Service Representative
Rated # 1 in call volume.
Responded to requests for order placements and information.
Responsible for overnight as well as day to day call volume.
Managed customer records.
1/99-6/00 AT&T;@Home; San Francisco, CA
Customer Service Representative
Handled high volume of incoming calls regarding product, sales, and technical support questions.
Kept in touch with multiple customers to solve discrepancies.
Organized meetings on new software being introduced to staff, Assisted in training of new employees.
10/97-1/99 Park Perk Café; San Francisco, CA
Customer Service/Barrista
Counter help, cashier, and coffee preparation.

This is the last section that usually appears on the resumé. There may be some varying recommendations, depending on whom you talk to or what your objective might be, on the content and layout of your education information, for now, list what level you have accomplished. The basic details about your education should include, college attended, degree, date of graduation (opinions differ on inclusion of dates), major, related course work and (possibly) G.P.A. College graduates need not need include information about secondary school, but it is important to summarize education attained through community colleges, other colleges, and specialized training programs.

1999 SF State University; San Francisco, CA
B.A.; English Literature
Dean's List, Honor Roll with a 4.0 GPA

These, and in some cases, portfolios or transcripts should be listed as "available upon request". We recommend this section added at the bottom of all resumés. In addition to creating closure to your resumé it has an added value of signifying that you are able and willing to provide proof to the information stated above. However, and we emphasize this point to you strongly, have references, phone numbers, and business addresses ready on a separate sheet whenever you go to an interview.

Click here to view a sample reference sheet layout.

Unless you are a recent college graduate or as of yet have a limited amount of employment history to occupy an entire single page, we recommend that you not add this area on the resumé. However, it can promote some very marketable or redeeming qualities. This section added can show leadership, organization, critical thinking, teamwork, self-management, initiative and influencing others.

Information such as height, weight, sex, and marital status should not be listed on the resumé. Such factors are irrelevant and cannot legally be considered in employment decisions.

Remember to keep all information on the resumé concise and clear. A one-page resumé is best, although people with extensive experience or advanced degrees may have to use two pages. Be scrupulously careful when you proofread; some employers will refuse to consider candidates who submit resumés with spelling or typographical errors.

Click here to view some helpful resumé examples.