Outline to make a resume - free resume outline example
In this free outline to make a resume, you will discover how to create a resume that will get you the interviews you desire. Your resume can be made up of various different sections which are used to illustrate everything a recruiter or prospective employer needs to know. Your resume is an essential marketing tool in the recruitment process. It is usually the first piece of information that future employers and recruiters read about you. Use language which will get them excited about the prospect of interviewing or even hiring you.
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In this free resume outline example you will find that there is a logical order to the different sections of your resume. For example, many people put details of their education on the first page. Yet this is only required if you have just left university or college. If you have been working for a while and looking for your third or fourth job in your career, even your second job if you were in your first one for a time, then this information is far more crucial to an employer than what degree you did. You can of course say that you are "Degree Educated" or "MBA Qualified" in the Profile. But in terms of ordering the information, get it right or pay the price. Ensure your Career History starts on the first page, otherwise recruiters and HR managers with 20 seconds to scan your resume, will flick straight to the next one in their inbox.
The general outline for a resume is:
- Contact details.
- Major achievements.
- Career history.
- Education, qualifications and training.
- Language skills (optional).
- IT skills (optional).
- Personal details (optional).
- References (optional).
In the following sections (on this page) we will take a look at what you should include in each of the above sections of your resume. Please note that if you have just left education then you may want to include the education section before the career history section, but this depends on whether your work experience is relevant to the job you are applying for.
Free resume outline examples
After you've taken a look at this free resume outline example you might want to take a look at our free resume examples (or you might want to have a look at them before reading the rest of this article), plus you might want to learn how a professional resume service can help you:
- What to dramatically improve your resume then learn how a professional CV service can help you get the job interviews you want.
- For a free resume outline example please see our sample CVs / resumes.
- Your first name and surname.
- Your address.
- Cell / mobile phone number.
- Home phone number (optional).
- Email address (your personal email address - not your employer's).
Resume Profile (outline key skills and abilities on your resume)
- Use a Profile on your resume as a quick outline of who you are and what you can do for your next employer.
- Use short, punchy language which sells you and your skills to the audience i.e. your recruiter or a prospective company. Your resume is your sales brochure so do not be afraid to use sales language to show you off to the best of your ability.
- Most jobs require good communication skills so make sure to mention yours here in the Profile.
- Do you have a proven ability to lead teams or develop staff? Well, this is a prime place on your resume to show this much needed skill. The key work here is 'proven'. If you only have "ability to…" the reader may question whether you've ever had experience with this skill.
- Use your Profile to outline on your resume any industry specific qualifications or experience. Accountants may choose to say they are ACCA or IT Project Managers may put down their Prince 2 qualification in this section. If you do so, then provide more details under a Training or Professional Qualifications section.
- If you're fluent in more than one language, use a short sentence in the Profile to say so. Do not fall into the trap of saying when your language skills are 'moderate' or 'conversational' in this section.
Resume Major Achievements (Make Your Resume Stand Out)
- This section is pretty self-explanatory but is an essential part of anybody's resume. Yet it so often gets missed out or overlooked or completely forgotten about.
- You can use this part of your resume to illustrate a few examples of your successes in your career to date.
- Try to use four or five major achievements to outline examples of your work and what this has meant for your company. Did you save money as a result of an innovative program you initiated for example?
- Any examples given here can always be strengthened by quantifying your achievements. First person to hit targets this year? Say so and be specific. Do not be afraid of selling yourself; after all that is what your resume is for!
- Keep your major achievements specific to your current role or prospective role. Any which do not apply, think again about including them. This of course is slightly different if you are changing careers. In which case, follow the next piece of advice.
- If you are changing careers, a Major Achievements section is still an important part of your resume and should not be left off or done half-heartedly. Take a look at what skills you need for your next career / job, and use examples of when you've utilised these skills effectively in the past.
Career History (outline jobs, responsibilities, achievements in your resume)
- The most professional title for this section is Career History but some people like to use Work Experience.
- This is another vital section of your resume which should start on the first page, usually underneath the Major Achievements section.
- Whilst it is quite self explanatory, this section still requires much thought, because you need to think about what should and sometimes more importantly, what should not be included.
- You should include job titles, company names and the dates you worked for each company in the Career History.
- The Job title to use is your current one and the one which will be used for referencing purposes; however if your current company use peculiar job titles which mean little or nothing outside of your company, then look at your industry and use a more generic name.
- With dates, it is often wise to put the month and year such as March 2002 - December 2003. If you only put 2002 - 2003, you do not get full credit for nearly two years of experience as it could be assumed that you started December 2002 and finished January 2003!
- It is quite easy to allow this part of your resume to read like your job description handed to you by your HR department the day you started! However, recruiters and future employers want to know what you have done, not what you are meant to have done. So in a similar way to your Major Achievements section, justify or quantify your career history by ensuring that you give as full an example as possible to your responsibilities. For example, 'responsible for a team of business analysts' does not give justice to 'Responsible for a team of 8 business analysts across four international offices'. Which is more impressive?
- Use this section to give further details to any projects that you mentioned in the Major Achievements section, but don't duplicate the information exactly (as they will just bore the reader).
Early Career History
- If you have more than ten year's career history, it can be a good idea to condense your earlier experience into a shorter section. It then gives you more space for your more recent career history, whilst still ensuring that you can give details about relevant earlier experience.
- Feel free to condense the information here down to just the job title, company name and dates. If you have room and if it is relevant, then add a bullet point or two.
Education, Qualifications & Training
- Quite self-explanatory but stick to outlining your industry and job-specific qualifications in this section.
- Every course you have ever done does not need to be on your resume. Look at the level you are at in your industry and decide if the fact you went on a one day assertiveness course eight year's ago is really important?
- Leave off details such as addresses for any universities or colleges as they're not needed. Sydney High School is enough information and otherwise takes up much needed space for more important information.
- Many people also put all their secondary level education results here even when there last formal education qualification took place ten year's ago. Once you have a degree and a first or second job, ignore anything less than a Bachelor's degree in this section.
Language Skills on a resume - make you more employable
- Only use this section if you have language skills other than your natural tongue.
- More importantly, avoid listing the languages where you are only poor or fair at best, only list a language if you are fluent or have a good to excellent knowledge. Saying you are poor in Spanish is not useful information to give anyone!
IT Skills (optional) - outline technical skills on your resume
- Use this section to outline industry and job-specific qualifications. So if you are a Project Manager in the engineering industry and your degree was in Mechanical Engineering, use this section to show this.
Personal Details (optional on a resume)
- It is very easy to add lots of details in here however before doing so it's wise to check what is required by different countries and their cultures and legislation. For example, you can leave off marital status or date of birth in some countries as they have anti-discrimination laws governing these aspects.
References (optional on a resume)
- In the private sector, you do not need to put references on your resume. It takes up valuable space and does not add to your application. References are usually taken at offer stage anyway, so you have ample time to provide future employers with these details.
- If you are straight out of university or college, then it may be more normal to use your resume to give this information, however if you want this vital space for other information, use it and give the reference details at a later date and when asked.
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