Resumes

Your resume is a document that should change constantly as you build your career. Try to make a point to update it every 6 months to reflect new projects, assignments and accomplishments. It is okay to have a master draft of your resume that may take up multiple pages. You can then adapt that draft into shorter versions of your resume for different job postings or to send to various networking contacts. When working on your resume as a professional there are several other factors to take into consideration:

Gaps in the Resume:

If you are a recent graduate or are currently unemployed looking for work, it is okay to have about a six month gap in your resume. After that allotted time period many employers will begin to wonder how you are spending your time. It is good to consider part time employment, professional internships, volunteer work or participation in a professional development activity so you can actively show employers some type of work currently going on.

Profile/Summary of Qualifications

As you continue to build your work experience, it may be appropriate to include a profile or summary of qualifications at the beginning of your resume. See the resume samples above for examples. Your profile should include very specific things such as technical skills, summary of management experience, summary of project results, or statements overviewing the amount of time you have spent using a specific skill set. These sections should not include generic statements such as: "excellent communicator." This type of language is a better fit for cover letters.

Resume Structure:

Once you have a few years of work experience, you should probably restructure your resume. Your experience and activities or community involvement/professional development sections normally will be the first section after the profile. Your education section will drop down to the bottom of your resume. Your resume should always follow reverse chronological order, so it reflects what you are currently working on moving backwards through your work history.

It is important to have several different people look at your resume and provide you feedback. If you have a mentor or other industry professionals in your network you feel comfortable asking, that is a great start. You can also schedule an appointment with a career counselor to have your resume reviewed (link to career counseling page). Be careful about asking coworkers to review your resume as they may assume you are looking for jobs elsewhere.