Very! In today’s times, the readers of resumes want to see what differentiates one candidate from another. Job tasks and responsibilities will not vary much. However, the key accomplishments and achievements allow the job seeker to stand out more.
Absolutely imperative! Without quantified achievements a resume is no more than a list of jobs and cannot position a candidate to compete in a tight job market.
Provide educational background starting with your most advanced degree or major, and the university or college name. Abbreviations are fine: BS, BA, MS, MBA, and PhD. Use the same fonts for school and company names. If you do not have a full degree, include those details by mentioning what degree you pursued and the amount of years or semesters attended (or percentage completed, if available). Include your education at the bottom unless you feel there are grounds to move it up or if it is customary in your industry to have it appear early on a resume.
What the Pros Say:
Do you have any unique techniques in writing the Education section?
I will ensure either the degree or the name of the institution stands out—depending on which one is more powerful and/or relevant to the job search. For instance, a degree from Harvard stands out regardless of the focus of study, as does a master’s in information systems for someone gunning for a CIO role.
When writing the Education section, the focus can be either on the degree, the major area of study, or the college/university—whichever piece would best support the job seeker’s target. If the Education piece is the job seeker’s main qualification—such as a recent college graduate or someone who is changing careers and has earned new credentials—the Education section should be listed under the Summary section rather than at the end of the resume.
The following sections can add depth to your resume. You may not need every section below—just those representing strong qualifications for you.
Affiliations and associations can be impactful on a resume by indicating your involvement in your industry and the community. Include groups of which you are a member. An Affiliations section may look like this:
American Marketing Association
Society for Human Resource Management
Health Care Administrators Association
American Red Cross
Appointments are a list of offices you held (generally in the last five years) and demonstrate involvement in both professional and civic organizations. Include only professional or significant charitable organizations. An Appointments section may look like this:
Chairperson, American Management Association, 20XX–20XX
Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary International, 20XX–20XX
Regional Director—Rapid Response, American Red Cross, 20XX–20XX
This section reveals achievements, awards, and honors not connected to your career. Include accolades from college activities, professional service organizations, volunteer work, and so on. Examples include:
Team Captain, Central Minnesota University Softball Team
Up and Comer Award, Rotary International
Volunteer of the Year, American Red Cross
The world is getting smaller. Being fluent or proficient in a foreign language can be a significant differentiator, depending on the kind of positions you are pursuing. A Language section generally appears this way:
Fluent in Portuguese
Proficient in Italian
List all licenses relevant or required in your industry or the job description for your desired position. Don’t list a real estate license if you aren’t seeking a position in that industry.
6. Professional Training and Designations
Continuing education in your chosen field is important. It’s a clear indication to future employers that you stay current and are improving your skills and knowledge. List noteworthy workshops, seminars, and other continuing education you have completed in the last five years. List only those seminars that pertain to the type of position you are looking for. A typical professional training section will look like this:
Dale Carnegie Corporate Strategy—20XX
Managing for Excellence, sponsored by the American Management Association—20XX
Selling!, a five-day program sponsored by Kaufman and Gentry Sales Training—20XX
If you’ve attended more than five courses, just note the types along with who sponsored them, such as:
Completed sales, management, and computer skills trainings sponsored by the American Management Association—20XX
Understanding technology is becoming indispensable in today’s world. Include your proficiencies with technology here. A Technical section generally appears this way:
C++, Cisco UCS, Commvault, VMWare, Windows Servers, Microsoft Active Directory, WordPerfect, PowerPoint, Microsoft Office, Microsoft
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