By Heidi J. Voorhees, President, GovHRUSA

  1. Develop a chronological resume that is easy to follow. Provide a one sentence description of each position you’ve held, the name of the organization including the city and state, and then indicate your accomplishments while you held that job. If you had a wide variety of responsibilities, consider creating subheadings such as Human Resources, Financial Management, Economic Development, etc.
  2. Quantify, quantify, quantify!! If you supervised employees, indicate the number of employees you supervised. If you were responsible for a budget, indicate the amount of the budget. If you secured a grant, indicate the amount of the grant.
  3. Account for all gaps in your resume. Do not give recruiters or human resource professionals a good reason to set your resume aside.
  4. If you’ve had experience in a field that you do not believe is relevant to the position, still include it. First, it will keep you from having a gap in your resume. Second, more and more employers are looking for candidates with a diversity of experience.
  5. Do not use colored paper or other methods to “set your resume a part from others.” Do consider using a higher weight of plain paper if you are mailing a resume or presenting it in person.
  6. Your resume can be longer than two pages if it is well organized and you have a good story to tell.
  7. Avoid flowery career objectives or sections that list adjectives describing your skill sets. Instead, use your valuable resume space to describe accomplishments that demonstrate those qualities.
  8. Include a section that shows your volunteer activities, whether or not those are professionally related. Include coaching, service organizations, or not for profit groups you may be involved in.
  9. Always, always, always develop a one page, well written cover letter that is specific to the position. An e-mail transmitting your resume is not a cover letter. In developing your cover letter, try to tie your experience to the position.
  10. If you’ve had a favorable newspaper article written about you or you authored a short professional article for a journal, consider including it with your resume.