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Components of a GREAT resume - November 17th, 2014


Everyone’s got a resume, and they all seem to wind up in the same huge pile when there’s a job posted.

So the big question is...How do you make your resume noticeable, readable, and memorable? In other words, how do you make your resume stand out in the crowd, the very large crowd?

Here are the eight absolutely essential components of great resumes.

1. Summary, Objective, or Profile

This is where you introduce yourself. You have about 15 seconds to get – and hold the reader’s attention.

Example: Staff accountant with 5 years’ experience and progressive responsibility in supporting the finance function of companies in two industries...

2. Qualifications, Areas of Strength

Once you’ve told the reader WHO you are, tell him WHY you are who you are. Use key words here.

Example: Accounting, Accounts Receivable; Monthly, Quarterly, Year-end Closings; Bank Reconciliations; Reporting...

3. Selected Accomplishments

List a few of your most impressive ones, preferably from more than just your last job. Don’t wait for the reader to find them way down in your work history. Most readers don’t read that far. But they will if you give them a “sneak preview” of what’s there.

Example: Pick accomplishments that are easiest to quantify, like sales or meeting deadlines or projects.

4. Professional Experience

List your work history. By now, the reader should be eager to read the rest. Work in reverse chronological order (most recent first), use bullet points only, and emphasize accomplishments, not job duties. And ALWAYS start you bullet points with action verbs.

Example: Sold, led, increased, initiated, installed, updated, wrote.....

5. Education

This comes after your work history unless it’s recent. In that case, you’ll put it first. List your highest degree first followed by earlier ones. If you’re working on one, list the expected year.

Example: List the degree, then the school, then the graduation year.

6. Continuing Professional Development

Hopefully, you’re doing this. It’s important to keep learning and piling on those credentials.

Example: Certificates, seminars, courses, etc.

7. Professional Affiliations

You should belong to at least one professional association.

Example: National Association of ... [Whatever]

8. Community Involvement / Volunteerism

Aside from being a good worker, are you a good person?

Example: Fundraiser for local soup kitchen

Career Coach Eli Amdur conducts workshops and one-on-one coaching in Job Search, Career Planning, Resumes, and Interviewing. Reach him at or 201-357-5844