Resume Tips: Structure

This is the second in a series of short articles designed to assist you with creating or polishing your resume.

Resume Structure

It is important to format your resume so that it is easy to read.

Every resume should have a similar construction and follow the same conventions. It’s a good idea to use resume templates, such as those provided in Microsoft Word or other word processing programs.

Using a template will make it very easy for you to create your resume. Templates are widely used by job seekers, so they are very familiar to employers.  This means that employers know exactly where to look to find the information they need. This makes your resume easier for them to read.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Place your complete contact information at the top of your resume.
  • Always include the names of your employers, the dates of your employment, and a description of your duties at each position. We require resumes to be formatted in this manner. Place job titles, company names, and dates of employment in bold or italics to draw attention to them.
  • List your positions in reverse chronological order, with the most recent jobs at the top.
  • You must describe your responsibilities at each of your positions. Format the description of your duties in a bulleted list, with the most important responsibilities or experience listed first. Use short, efficient descriptions. Each job should have its own list of duties. Do not lump all of your responsibilities at each of your positions into one big list.
  • Avoid large blocks of text like the plague. Impenetrable walls of words will make an employer go cross-eyed before they can learn anything about you. If an employer finds it hard to read your resume, they won’t read it at all. This is why bulleted lists and short, efficient descriptions are so important.
  • Make your resume readable. Never use funky fonts or odd colors. Print your resume on white paper. Don’t bother with using fancy paper or folders—employers don’t pay attention to them, and they cost you money. It’s the quality of the construction of your resume that matters. Putting a bunch of window dressing on a bad resume is like putting lipstick on a pig.
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