Spectrum Resume Writing Solutions
Your resume tells the story of your career. As such it should be engaging, focused and readable. We aren't going to write your resume (not for free, anyway*), but we will do our best to tell you how much of what to put where and why. Although a good resume is a critical tool in your job search it is much more likely to lose you a job than to get you one. When in doubt, leave it out!
Check out the sample resume below and download an editable template here.
Your City, ST | C: 801.555.1234 | email@example.com
SUMMARY | PROFILE
Introduce yourself with a brief summary of your actual strengths and specialties. This is not an objective statement! It's not all about what you want, it's about what recruiters and hiring managers want from you. So, get over yourself! Speaking of which, avoid cliché superlatives. If you are in fact a driven, self-starting, dynamic leader, prove it with facts by adding your stats! Create your brand here rather than selling yourself. Don't be subjective about your own achievements and experience, they should speak for themselves. Here and throughout your resume, keep it short and relevant, not wordy and self-important. This intro, for example, is waaaaayyy too long. In fact, this sample resume is too long. Tighten it up!
SKILLS | ACHIEVEMENTS
- Depending on where you are in life, this will be a short list of impressive achievements or a longer list of desirable skills.
- Skills must be transferable, measurable and applicable to the job for which you are applying.
- These 3-8 bullet points should illustrate actual, quantifiable accomplishments, including size and scope.
- Use statistics whenever possible, e.g., business development numbers, budget, revenue, cost savings, new customer count, number of employees, et al.
- Tailor this section to the specific job for which you are applying. Keep it fluid. The rest of the resume will remain static.
- Military awards can go here. Extensive military experience can go under work history, especially when it is pertinent to the position.
EDUCATION | TRAINING
Your Degree － Related Field Exclude your graduation date. Ageism is real!
Alma Mater University － Exampleville, USA
Degrees, certifications, licenses and the like should be listed right up top, especially when you know what they are looking for and you know you've got it!
ABC Certification － Necessary Skills 01/2022 (This date stays to let them know the certificate is current and valid)
Another Institution － Anytown, USA
Include a brief description here, if needed.
WORK | EXPERIENCE (if this part is more relevant than your education, move it up top!)
Your Position, Most Recent Employer, Inc. － Sample City, USA 01/2017 to present
Feel free to include a concise description of the company here: what they do, annual revenue, size of staff, etc.
- Focus on key accomplishments and truly relevant experience. Use numbers as proof of your prowess.
- Again, less is more! Describing your work history should not feel like rewriting your own job descriptions.
- If you changed positions within the same company or worked for a company that changed names during your tenure, consider using a single block of dates with the different names, positions and responsibilities listed subsequently. This will prevent the appearance of job hopping.
Junior Position, Same Company, Different Name － Sample City, USA No dates, same company
If it makes sense, tell about what you did here in more general terms then add measurables below.
- Don't include more than 15 years of work experience unless it is absolutely pertinent.
- Exclude unrelated experience completely unless that is really all you have.
- First Real Job, Startup Industries － Collegetown, USA 01/2009 to 12/2016 Most prospective employers won't even make it this far into your resume before they know whether or not they want to proceed with you.
- In fact, that decision is often made within the first ten seconds of perusing the document so it is important to find a way (aside from your amazing background) to stand out.
- Add some color, eye-catching formatting and exciting verbiage, but avoid flashy fonts and italics. Stick with classic, clean lines and reasonable font sizes (this font, for example, is too small). Leave plenty of white space to help draw the eye around the page. Nobody goes to the ice cream shop for vanilla!
- Include other relevant skills, awards, volunteering efforts, languages spoken and professional conquests here. Do not include a list (anywhere) of irrelevant personal interests and exploits. Guess what? Nobody cares :(
- Especially when it comes to something like a religious service mission, don’t assume the reader will know exactly what you’re talking about. Use general terms everyone will understand like ‘full time representative’ and ‘religious organization’. Likewise, they may not understand how your participation applies to their situation. So, again, spotlight only skills and acts that are suitable.
Don’t bother including references or writing ‘provided upon request’ on your resume. If and when the proper parties want them, they will ask. Leaving reference information out allows you time to contact prospective sources so they aren’t surprised by a request from someone out of the blue. They will also have more time to provide a thorough, thoughtful and naturally glowing recommendation for you. Not divulging references can also be helpful in keeping you apprised of a company’s interest level and the status of the hiring process. If they ask for them, you’re probably doing something right!
The top third of the first page is critical, make it count! Your education and experience won’t change so highlight your strengths in the introduction and skills sections to make an immediate impression. This section of your resume should be easy to edit to include position-specific details.
- No need to include your exact home address. Include only the city or geographical area to avoid false assumptions or judgments being made by HR representatives.
- Links to portfolios and appropriate social media profiles can be useful but do not replace a resume.
- Skip the photos. First of all, they are almost always cheesy (ask someone who really cares about you). They also immediately leave you subject to judgement and discrimination.
- Size matters! Keep it to 1-3 pages in length. A good rule of thumb is about 5 years of experience per page of resume. Experience beyond 15 years is likely superfluous or can be trimmed down to 3 pages. Set margins between .7” and 1". Anything narrower is distracting, anything wider is a waste of space.