In March 2020, 7.1 million people were unemployed according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is believed that COVID-19 created a sudden rise in unemployment by almost 1%. If you are unemployed during this crisis, it’s time to write that resume!

Make sure you understand resume basics before you start writing.  You must condense your work experience into a concise, easy to read, typo-free document.  Capitalize on relevant experiences, highlight measurable accomplishments, and add a dash of job skills.

Five Components of Every Resume

Contact Information. Your resume needs current contact information. Be sure to include the following:  name, city and state, phone number, and email address. If you have a strictly professional social media page, include that as well. If you have a social media page that shows you enjoying cocktails on the beach, do NOT include it. As a matter of fact, clean up all social media profiles to avoid being prejudged by employers for your personal interests.

Resume Summary. After the contact information, you need a brief summary of your experience and best career highlights. It is almost as if you are showing the “coming attractions” in a movie starring you – the Best Employee Ever! Make the highlights relevant to the job. Use numbers to show measured success. Do not be shy about the great things you have done in previous positions.

Skills Section.  The skills section should be below the summary. It should also use a short-bulleted format. The keywords should be a good match to the job you are applying for. Remember to also add soft skills such as problem-solving, communication, negotiation, etc.

Professional Experience.  This is the main meal to your 5-course dinner! Do not make the mistake of just listing job duties. Focus on quantifiable accomplishments. How did you solve problems or save the company in your previous positions? Use numbers, dollars, and percentages to make yourself shine.

Education.  Do not make recruiters and hiring managers hunt for your education. Give it a separate section. If you are a new graduate, education goes at the top. If you have been in the workforce for several years, education goes at the bottom of the resume.

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Reposted from January 2020.

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