Building a Resume

The Resume

“Do you have a resume?” Who would have known that such a simple question could instill fear in so many hardworking individuals? Well, it shouldn’t. A resume is an important tool that allows a job applicant to show off their skills and attributes before they even have to step foot in an interview. Here at Sedona AG Services, a resume is extremely important because when sent to a potential employer, the resume reinforces all of the great things that our account managers have to say about each candidate. It’s one thing to say a candidate would be a great fit at Company X, but it’s another thing to show the client a resume and prove that great fit. Your resume should not only tell about your personal, educational and experiential qualifications, but it should also show off your level of creativity along with your written communication skills. Personal resumes make each candidate seem much more marketable. A resume is definitely not a scary thing. All you need to learn is how to write one.
View Sample Resume | Download Sample Resume

 How to Prepare Your Resume

First of all, you must realize that there is no right or wrong way to write a resume. Everyone has their own personal style. For the sake of simplicity, we are just going to follow a general approach.

Basic Information
Basic information is usually centered at the top of the resume. It includes:

  • Your name as you want to be referred to professionally.
  • Current address and phone number with area code.
  • Permanent address and phone number with area code.
  • E-mail address if you use e-mail often.

Your career objective should answer the question, “What do I want to do?” It should be a relatively broad statement. It could state, for example, “To obtain an entry-level management position in a retail sales setting.” If you are looking for employment in a variety of different fields, create a new objective for each new resume.

Educational Background
Your educational background should focus on the highest level of schooling that you have completed. For example, if you completed college your resume would include:

  • Degree or certification obtained
  • Minor/emphasis of study
  • Institution
  • Relevant coursework
  • Dates attended
  • GPA (if proud of it)
  • City, State

This part of your resume is usually the largest. It may include several different sections such as work experience, school experience and volunteer experience. On average, most resumes include three to five relevant, important experiences that correlate and show off certain skills needed for the particular position you are seeking. For each of the relevant experiences, you should include:

  • Job title/organization name, dates of employment, and location.
  • Job duties
    • Summarize your responsibilities such as: Served as executive secretary to the V.P of Finance.
    • List achievements that you accomplished during the position such as: Implementation of office voicemail system or conversion of past tax information onto spreadsheet form.

Remember to summarize these experiences as much as possible. Use concrete action words rather than unnecessary articles such as “a”, “an” & “the”.

Computer Skills
This section is obviously going to be significantly smaller than past sections. In this section, be sure to list all ofthe programs that you are familiar with. Your entry should look something like the entry below. (Hint-always be sure that you spell the different programs and systems correctly!)

  • Hardware: Proficient in both IBM and Macintosh
  • Software: Familiar with WordPerfect, PowerPoint, Lotus 1-2-3 and Word

Honors and Activities
This particular section allows the applicant to show how well rounded they are, so to speak. At the same time, the information listed can also reveal other important skills that you may not have previously mentioned. In this section, you can include anything from the extracurricular activities that you enjoy participating in to honors that you received in high school or college. Just remember to keep the section brief and to the point. Some examples that you may see on a resume include:

  • NASA scholarship recipient
  • Captain of the basketball team
  • Lector at local place of worship
  • Member of Volunteer Fire Department
  • Student Senate secretary

Listing Your Accomplishments
Remember to save something for the interview. Include a few major accomplishments, but don’t load your resume with multiple listings of how you saved the company zillions of dollars. If you are applying for a technical position, focus on a few technical accomplishments. If you are applying for an executive position, you will want to focus on a few cost or time-saving achievements. Use action verbs when describing your experience. Here are some examples of power words;

Achieved, added, administered, analyzed, broadened, consolidated, coordinated, created, demonstrated, developed, designed, eliminated, established, evaluated, expanded, generated, identified, implemented, increased, initiated, installed, invented, maintained, managed, migrated, negotiated, organized, performed, planned, reduced, resolved, restructured, saved, simplified, streamlined, strengthened, transformed, utilized, verified, wrote

Geographical Information
Forget the usual advice to omit the geographical location of your past employers. The first thing a recruiter or a Human Resources person will ask is the name of the city where you previously worked. Leaving it out makes you look like you have something to hide.

Salary History
Don’t put salary information on your resume. If you are responding to an ad that requests that information, you may want to include it in your cover letter. Opinions vary widely on this. Mine is to leave it out completely. If your resume shows that you are well qualified for the position, the company will want to interview you. But, if you list your current or previous salary and it is much higher than the company wants to pay, you will be eliminated without being given a chance to interview.

Personal Information and Hobbies
Do not include age, weight, race, sex or religion on your resume. Even if you feel this information is to your advantage. Do not put your photograph on your resume. It is OK to mention hobbies, especially things like softball or golf, which might be an asset to a prospective
employer. It is good to mention membership in professional associations, but avoid mentioning political or religious groups.

Don’t include reference names on your resume. Wait until the company asks for references. This will usually be after you have had an interview. If you put references on your resume, the company might call them first before giving you a chance to interview. Keep your references on a separate page to present when asked for.

Resume Writing Tips

A resume is a concise illustration of your past experience. It is to grab attention and get you an interview. It is a critical marketing tool in your personal marketing campaign – it is not just a list of what you have done in the past. It should tell an employer what you would be able to do for them in the future.

1. Your resume should be succinct, commanding, and truthful. It should emphasize skills, strengths, and accomplishments. Below are some examples.

Highlight important skills like:
Communication, conflict resolution, interpersonal, and leadership skills.

Demonstrate key traits such as:
Flexibility, high energy level, initiative and intelligence.

Resume should include the following:

  • Summary of skills/ Qualifications
  • Work history
  • Education
  • Relevant industry experience
  • Computer skills
  • Professional affiliations

2. List major awards, achievements, and publications; relate that information to your career objective.

3. List education and work experience starting with your most recent first.

4. Resume should be no more than two pages in total length ‘and should fill one complete page or two complete pages, never half of a second page.

5. Use active, language. Experience should be organized in action and result statements. Rather than saying, “Responsible for maintaining billing files” a better way to say this is “Maintained files to ensure accurate billing.”

6. Resume composition should be professional, not cute and without insignificant personal information. Use the language or jargon of the chosen field.

7. Resumes should not contain inconsistencies or time gaps. Include summer and part time employment.

8. It should be visually appealing, with few fonts or effects, which can be distracting.

9. Resumes should be carefully proofread to be error-free. Don’t rely solely on your spell checker.

Use both keywords and acronyms so that your resume will be selected in computerized searches, “Certified Public Accountant CPA“.
Click here for a list of Suggested Keywords | Download Key Words     


Jane Doe
123 Third Street
Dubuque, Iowa
(563) 556-1234
E-mail address:

Summary Customer service oriented and excellent communication skills. Other qualifications include 15,000 keystrokes per hour for data entry and 85 words per minute typing.
Experience ABC Company, Dubuque, IA
Data Entry Clerk/Receptionist                          August 1996 – Present
– Enter data from Accounting Department into system
– Address customers’ and clients’ questions
– Answer a multiple-line telephone
– Type correspondence for Vice President of FinanceDEF Company, Dubuque, IA.
Data Entry Assistant                                        May 1994 – July 1999
– Entered in client information and updated information
– Assisted Data Entry Clerk as-needed
– Ordered necessary supplies for the departmentGill Company, Dyersville, IA.
Customer Service Representative                   September 1990 – April 1994
– Assisted customers in returning their merchandise
– Answered customers’ inquiries
– Assisted in nightly cleaning, sweeping and straightening merchandise
– Balanced drawers at the completion of the shift
Computer Skills Hardware: Proficient in IBM and MacIntosh
Software: Proficient with WordPerfect, Word, Excel, Lotus, Windows 95 & 98, Email, Internet
Education Wahlert High School-Diploma, Graduated with High Honors
Activities Dubuque Jaycee, Member of Voluntary Emergency Medical Service
References Available upon request


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