Now that you have a job search plan, it is time to start putting together all of the tools you will need. All employers will ask you to list the jobs you have had, what your duties were, and when you worked at that job. A list of jobs and other information you would like to let your furture employer know about is usually called a RESUME. It is a summary of your life experience that is designed to help you get a job interview.
A simple chronological resume
A simple resume contains the information contained in a chronological resume, as shown below:
- Your contact information so the employer can contact you, including:
- telephone number and
- E-mail address (if you don’t have an E-mail address click here to set one up)
- A list of the jobs you have had, your experience, in order from the most recent job to the oldest job (in reverse chronological order) including:
- Job Title
- Dates employed
- Duties AND accomplishments (you made a list of these already!)
- The schools you have attended, and degrees, diplomas or certificates you have received. If you are a recent graduate, you may want to list your education before your experience.
In addition, you may want to list your skills or accomplishments first, expecially if you are an experienced worker and have worked in a variety of jobs, or have worked as a homemaker and you want to show the kinds of activities you are good at. You should make a list of skills or accomplishments that is targeted at getting the kind of job you want, and leave out anything that is not directly aimed at getting that particular job.
The combination resume — a better choice for younger or older job searchers
A resume that includes a list of jobs you have had that also includes a list of skills or accomplishments is often called a combination resume, since it is a combination of a chronological resume and what is called a functional resume — a resume that features your skills and accomplishments, but does not list your jobs. Since almost all employers will make you list your jobs before you get to talk to them, we recommend using the combination resume and not the functional resume. If you did the previous step, you already made a list of accomplishments and making up one of these resumes will be easy.
Just like the example resumes above (click on the underlined names to see them) the resume should not be too long or detailed — one or two pages at the maximum will be fine.
To create your own resume, you can click here to use Google Documents, after setting up your Google email account, if you didn’t do this already. You can cut and paste one of the sample resumes into your own resume document and then type over your information. Please ask for help from a volunteer if you need it.
You should use bullet lists whenever you can, and use a simple format with no fancy type or spacing. Almost all larger employers will have you use an Internet job application that will ‘upload’ and ‘scan’ your resume, then search your resume for ‘key words’. (Remember that list of key words you made?) In addition, you may want to publish your resume on one or more of the Internet job sites. If you followed the steps we have presented in preparing a job search plan and a simple resume, you will be all ready to go!
You will also need to create a list of references that lists former employers that know you well and will say good things about you and your work. If you do not have a former employer to use as a reference you can use someone, perhaps a teacher or community leader, who knows you well. You should have a list of references prepared to hand out, but do not include references in the resume. Once again, if you followed the previous steps you will be ready to create a reference list that will help you get a job. Do not use someone unless you have talked to them first!
NOTE: A particular challenge for older job searchers is that you may experience some degree of age discrimination. If your list of jobs is too long, or the dates you went to school show your age it is probably best to cut back the list, and not list the dates you attended school. Remember that the objective of the resume is to get an interview, nothing more. You must always be truthful, but do not make the error of putting down information that may be used to screen you out. Simpler is better!
Click here for the next step — Search For a Job.