2019 HBCU Careers Magazine

HBCU Careers Magazine

Constructing an Effective Resume

Why is a resume so important? Your resume helps an employer determine whether or not they want to interview you. Employers spend an average of less than 60 seconds reviewing any resume so it is critical that your resume is flawless and that it immediately grabs the employer’s attention. Your resume should project a clear and concise picture of your education, skills, experience, and achievements. In addition, a strong resume will convey your professionalism and work ethic as well as establish the connection between the employer’s needs and your background. How do I get started? First, determine the structure that will best showcase your skills, abilities and background. The most common resume formats are as follows. Chronological The chronological resume is typically used when you have strong work history. It emphasizes employment and/or experience history, listing these elements in reverse chronological order frommost recent to least recent. Functional / Skill-based The functional or skill-based resume focuses on your skills rather than on your chronological work history. Your skills are broken down into categories that quickly communicate to employers what you can do for them. This format is useful if you have limited employment-related experience or if you are seeking a position in a field that is unrelated to your academic background. Regardless of the resume format you choose, be sure to tailor your resume to fit the position for which you are applying. In other words, your resume should be customized so that it specifically highlights the experience and skills you have that are relevant to the position. Your resume should also include the same keywords that appear in the job description. This means you may need to use a slightly different version of your resume for each position that you apply to. While this will take some additional time and effort on your part, it is definitely worth it. Employers will take notice when you are able to show how your skills, attributes and background match with their specific needs.


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