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Organizing Your Resume

There is no right or wrong way to organize your resume. However, the following layout is one recommended approach which has proven to be very effective in presenting your credentials in a way which will strongly interest a prospective client.

OVERVIEW
Avoid an "Objective" statement which can be limiting in terms of opportunities and may close some doors. For instance, the following Objective statement may not get you an interview opportunity for a staff level position which has the potential of becoming Plant Manager in one year. Or it may lock you out of certain industries, where good opportunities exist.

Instead, focus on your areas of expertise and accomplishment, remaining open to any situations which could lead to future career opportunities:

PREFERRED
Objective: Summary:
To obtain a position as Plant Manager of medium sized innovative consumer products manufacturing company. Experienced Operations Management professional with 15 years experience, leading to the position of Manufacturing Manager with a multi-plant manufacturing organization.
Too specific and limiting Opportunity and career focused

KEY STRENGTHS and SKILLS
Identify key strengths and skills that you have developed which are transferable and will interest potential employers. Items of importance here would include people skills, leadership experience, specific industry experience, management style and techniques, experience in various professional disciplines, etc. A bulleted list would be good here.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Provide a bulleted list of key accomplishments, in quantitative terms, which would excite employers about your abilities. These would include areas where you saved or made money for your company. All accomplishments can be measured and quantitative measures, such as those shown in the left column below are much more meaningful to prospective employers than qualitative descriptions, such as those shown in the right column:

PREFERRED
Quantitative Measures Qualitative Descriptions
  • improved attendance from 80% to 95%
  • reduced employee grievances by 20%
  • improved on-time schedule completion from 90% to 98%
  • lowered absenteeism
  • fewer disciplinary actions
  • fewer production problems
EMPLOYMENT HISTORY or WORK EXPERIENCE
Always show your most recent employment first. Include the name and location of the company and a brief description of the industry or product lines provided. Include the size and sales level of the company, where possible. Indicate your position and the scope of your responsibilities, including professional disciplines or job titles and quantitative measures. Once again, qualitative statements tend to be less impressive and meaningful as quantitative measures:

PREFERRED
Quantitative Measures Qualitative Descriptions
  • supervised 15 engineers
  • support customer base of 100 clients
  • supervised employees
  • provide customer service
If you have held more than one position with the same company, make sure this is clear. For instance, indent the titles under a single listing for the company, to show varied experience and/or promotional growth and to avoid the appearance of holding too many jobs during your Accomplishments would be best to have been covered in a previous separate section, since they tend to reflect more on you and your capabilities and are not necessarily company specific. The abilities that allowed you to make those accomplishments at one company will allow you to make similar contributions at future companies.


EDUCATION
List university/college educational experience starting with highest degree level first. If you have pursued a degree but have not completed the program, indicate the partial credit you have earned or completed, especially if you are planning to complete the program. Show additional continuing educational pursuits which are beneficial to your professional growth and career.

PERSONAL
This section is optional. Some people include other interests, family status, etc. but this is not necessary. Generally speaking, leave this section out.

REFERENCES
Include references on a separate sheet.   They should not be submitted to a company with your resume, but should be provided early on to your recruiter, who can have them available for the hiring manager when the appropriate time comes.

Also, it is NOT necessary or advisable to include a statement on your resume similar to "References Available Upon Request". It is understood that you will be asked to provide references during the interview process, so stating the obvious is unnecessary.
Continue on to "Common Mistakes"
Return to "Presenting An Outstanding Resume"

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