Updating your resume

I have 10 years work experience and I needed to condense that down to 1 to 2 pages – nobody is going to read beyond that. A friend made an amazing make over of my resume, which I am happy to share with you here.

My resume is set up with a header where my name and contact information is printed within 2 lines and centered to the page; full name (bold and in caps), mailing address, contact number(s), and email. I always have a footer, which indicates the page number and number of pages. This is good to have because it will let the reviewer be aware there is another page to keep in mind when they print and review it.

I have found that using a 2 column table works best for me based on the format that I use. On the left column, I indicate the various sections of my resume: Education, Experience, Skills, Extra Curricular Activity, etc. The right column is the main body of the resume where I list the information as associated with each section. When listing the information, it is best to list them vertically as opposed to running continuously along a sentence with commas to break them up. It is easier to read things in brief descriptions down the page, and it is quicker to reference back to. Remember, people who review resumes receive many. It is best to keep the format easy and simple to read.

My friend recommended that I list the “SKILLS” after “EDUCATION”, which I thought was smart. She basically took all my project experience descriptions and listed them as “Professional Skills”, which was then followed by “Computer Skills”. These sets of information are crucial for the person reviewing resumes who are seeking candidates to fill the position. It is immediate and presented near the top of the page. Showing certain skills and experiences is more important than what project you’ve worked on especially in this market where it is very competitive.

The “EXPERIENCES” supports the skills and experiences and can remain brief in description. You can always state in your cover-letter specific projects if the employer is seeking someone with specific project experiences.

It is also good to list any “EXTRA CURRICULAR” activities or “AWARDS” that you may have earned. This, of course, shows that you are active outside of your professional career. And sometimes, your interests may become a marketable skill or talent that can put you ahead of others who are applying for the same position.

As you can see in the example I provided below, describing each section should be straight forward and without embellishments. In the example, the table is shown but should you this format, you can change the line weight to “none”. It will still read on your monitor but it will not be printed.

Please feel free to leave comments if you found this helpful, or you disagree with the format, or if you would like to share your suggestions of updating the resume.

**Please note, that the format as described above is merely a suggestion and not a definitive answer to getting a job. Good luck!**

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