Resume Outline

Outline of a Winning Resume

What should go in a resume to make it stand out from the crowd? Learn what information to include in your resume and how: Objective, Profile, Achievements, Education & Experience.

What Should Go in a Resume to Make it Work?

When you write your own resume, there’s some information about yourself that must be included.

  1. First things go first: what is a resume outline supposed to achieve?
  2. Resume Objective or Resume Profile?
  3. Resume Achievements
  4. Work Experience
  5. Resume Education

What is a Winning Resume Supposed to Achieve?

First of all, make sure you really understand what a resume is supposed to achieve. A resume is not to get you a job (although a bad one will prevent you from landing a job).

A well written, winning resume is a personal marketing tool, whose purpose is to get you an interview.

The resume is the first impression a potential employer will have: it better be a good one. Therefore, a winning resume must convey the right message to the company: it must show your achievements and your value as an employee in an assertive, sharp and proactive way.

Unfortunately, making a great impression is not enough anymore. Because of the huge number of resumes that hiring managers receive, they usually have only a few moments to scan a resume and discard candidates whose resumes are difficult to read or have the key information buried under a morass of less important text.

Therefore, a winning resume must convey the right message and must do it quickly.

Actually, there’s a third very important point: using the right keywords in your resume wording. Since this has nothing to do with the resume outline, it’s discussed in another article. Click here to learn why sending a resume with the wrong keywords is a waste of time.

The Winning Resume: Your Personal Ad

Attract the hiring manager’s attention, make a great impression, and do it in just a few seconds.

Does this sound familiar? Of course, you’ve seen it many times! This is exactly what an ad or TV spot must do. And this is exactly what a resume is: it’s your personal ad.

Always keep this in mind when writing your own resume.

Winning Resume Outline

These are the most important sections in a winning resume.

Resume Objective? No Thanks. Profile Instead.

Never start your “personal ad” (your resume) wasting the hiring manager’s time explaining what YOU want to do. He or she couldn’t care less.

The only thing that interests the prospective employer is what you can do for THEM. Period.

Start your resume outline with a hard-hitting opening statement packed with your skills, abilities, personal attributes and accomplishments.

Your resume profile must quickly show

  • Who you are, and
  • What you can do for the company.

Consider the profile as an ad for the rest of the resume: it must immediately convince the hiring manager to keep on reading.

Let’s compare a typical resume objective and a winning resume profile:

Sample Resume Objective:

To obtain an executive sales /marketing management position within a growth oriented, progressive company. I want to apply my business development/sales skills to an environment where they will make a significant impact on the bottom line. The ideal atmosphere would be entrepreneurial and one in which new ideas are welcome and decision making is required.

After reading this, try to answer the following questions:

  • Who’s this person?
  • What are his or her key abilities?
  • What are his or her greatest accomplishments?

Now answer the same questions for this sample resume profile:

Sample Resume Profile:

Master’s degree in Drafting Engineering Technology, searching for a Space Planner position in an internationally oriented firm. Two years´ experience in design, drafting and space planning. Proficient in AutoCAD, Versa CAD, and manual systems. Served as Space Planner for a large hospital. Accustomed to work in a team. Proven leadership abilities and troubleshooting skills. Able to conduct business in Spanish and French.

The bottom line is: don’t waste valuable resume ‘real estate’ with vague and useless statements. The hiring manager won’t forgive you.

Find out more on how to start your resume outline:

Resume Achievements: What Did You Contribute to Your Previous Employers?

Nothing is more convincing than a clear, specific and concise explanation of how and how much you contributed to your previous employers’ success.

When writing down your achievements, use numbers to describe them. Do not generalize; instead, use numbers and percentages to get your points across.

EasyJob provides you with a list of sample achievements to get you started.

Find out how to include your achievements in your resume outline:

Resume Work Experience

Before writing this section, it´s important to know that:

  • Employers are more interested in true responsibilities and achievements than in job titles.
  • Employers have neither the time nor the willingness to look at unrelated job titles to try to figure out if the applicant actually acquired skills related to the position he or she held.
  • The important thing is the work you did and the skills you acquired. So, if your job title is weak (or inaccurate) when compared with your actual duties, put a more descriptive title in parentheses after you type your official title. For example, Head Waitress (Night Manager).

How to include your work history in your winning resume outline:

Resume Education

Education is always an advantage in the employment market. However, it’s important not to let stereotypical ideas about education keep you from applying for the job you want.

Even if your education is incomplete, or non standard, there are resume writing techniques that will help you make Education one of your strongest points.

  • Education: learn how to make it one of your resume outline’s strongest points, even if your education is non-conventional or incomplete.