Resume Tips

Your resume is your professional bio. Depending on the position you are looking for and your seniority, your resume format may vary. For example, someone with 15 years of experience who is looking for an Executive Director position will have a longer resume than a person fresh out of school who is looking for an entry-level position. We will gladly help our candidates improve their resumes. We even offer a presentation on resume writing, which is free to applicants. Here are some hints for dazzling, efficient resumes:

We suggest to omit that section. Unless you are applying for a very specific position, this can be limiting your chances. Your future employer knows what you are looking for: A good job. Specifying exact career goals can deter potential employees from considering you for other positions.

We suggest to omit pictures. While common in other countries, the inclusion of pictures has not caught up in the US yet.

List your degrees in reverse chronological order, beginning with the highest one. Include level completed, institution and year earned. Use a bullet format and aim for one line of text per degree.

This is probably the most important section. In this section, you are trying to showcase your professional profile in an inviting, engaging and brief way:

  • List your employment history beginning with the most recent one and going backwards in time. We recommend to omit odd jobs that don’t have anything to do with the position you are looking for. Use a bullet format and include business name, city/state, begin and end dates and capacity in which you worked.
  • Under each position, add a few details with the tasks that you performed, skills you learned, goals you achieved and any leadership experience in managing projects or people. Add more details for the most recent positions you held and reduce the amount of detail progressively as you get into older employment.
  • If you don’t have professional experience, this is not a concern by itself, as long as it is clear that you are interested in an entry-level position. In that case, it may be useful to add a “Skills” section, where you list what you can do.

This is an optional section, where you can list specific skills that may differentiate you from other candidates. Examples of that include specialized software, artistic skills, leadership abilities and more.

Being fluent in one or more languages is a very important part of your skills which may deserve to be mentioned separately.

You can usually offer “References Upon Request.” If you include them, make sure to mention the name, a phone number and the position of that person. Include only professional references, unless you have limited job history. A professional reference is a person who has seen you at work as a coworker, a report, or a supervisor.

What to Avoid
Often times, :applicants include entries in their resumes that hurt, rather than help, their cause. Here is a short list:

  • “Authorized to work in the United States” or citizenship status. Unless there is reason for concern, it is assumed that candidates can legally be employed. However, be sure to include it if you require visa sponsorship.
  • Personal information, such as marital status, age, hobbies, etc.
  • Anything that fills up space without adding information relevant to employment.
  • False or exaggerated statements of any kind. Employers will find out and then you are toast.