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Guidelines for Writing a Resume

Developed by Human Resources Consultants Association (HRCA)

General Guidelines

The resume should be a clearly written, concise document presenting an individual's job objective, career history, and qualifications supported by relevant job experience, personal accomplishments, education, and other pertinent supportive information displaying one's skillset and potential abilities.

The purpose of the resume is not to sell yourself but rather to grant you an interview. (The interview is where you sell yourself). Therefore it should generate enough interest to catch a potential employer's attention given that your background and skills are summarized well enough and matches their specific job requirements. The resume should stimulate specific skill-related questions and serve as a guide during the interview process.

Resume Content

The resume should consist of the following:

  1. Personal contact information - Name, address, day and evening telephone numbers, and email address if applicable.


  2. Job Objective - This should clearly state the type of position and role that you are seeking to include the industry and environment that you desire to work in.


  3. Summary of Qualifications - Specify the number of years of experience you have in a focused field, along with specific skills and accomplishments. This should include technical skills along with other pertinent data that are relevant to your career.


  4. Work History - List in reverse chronological order (most recent job first) your work experiences to include company name, dates worked at each company, job titles and a description of your specific duties and responsibilities for each position held. Use active words that give the reader a clear picture of what your role and duties were. Do not fluff it up with words that are not descriptive as to the true nature of your duties. Your job description should almost read like an advertisement listing responsibilities, duties, and required qualifications.


  5. Education - List your degrees, schools attended, and any other relevant training that has in some way enhanced your career.

Other Considerations

In a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resources Management in early 2000, Human Resources professionals indicated a preference to receive resumes via email. Other feedback from the survey respondents included:

  • 24% scan and store resumes in a computer
  • 9% screen resumes electronically
  • 76% remove resumes from the applicant pool if they contain typographical or grammatical errors
  • 54% review resumes in less than 3 minutes
  • 55% prefer resumes that are one page long
  • 62% view resumes negatively if they are more than 2 pages long



Standard Resume Format

Contact Information
Name
Address
City, State
Phone #'s (day & evening)
email address (optional)


Job Objective: (State career interests and goals)





Summary of Qualifications: (List specific skills, number of years' experience in a specialized field and other pertinent data relevant to your career accomplishments.)





Work Experience: (List most recent job to include current employer, dates of employment, job title, and a clear concise description of your specific duties, responsibilities, and accomplishments).





Previous Employers: List all previous employers in reverse chronological order to include dates of employment, job title, and a clear concise description of your specific duties, responsibilities, and accomplishments).





Education: (List schools attended, degrees received, and any other relevant training)





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