Resume Basics

Resume Basics

What Your Resume Should Include

Name and Contact Information



Not everyone is a fan of objective statements. They can be helpful in describing your short and long term objectives, but can also pigeon hole you into a limited number of roles.

Beware – if you’re applying in multiple industries, make sure you update your objective statement per the job at hand lest you apply for a Mechanical Engineer position, and your objective speaks more to a Plant Manager set of responsibilities (by accident). Lastly, keep it short and to the point.





This is a great place to highlight your recent degree, specialty courses that relate to the position you’re applying for. Make sure to include the school name, type of degree (Associates, Bachelors, etc.) and discipline. If you had achieved a high grade point average or significant achievement like Dean’s List, Cum Laude, or other specific award, this is also a good place to include it. If your educational experience is more than a five years ago, it is more appropriate to list it below your professional experience. It is unnecessary to include the year of your degree.





Most Recent Employer, City, State                             Starting and Ending Month/Year

Position Title – If you have a brief overview of a company or role (maybe one sentence), this is where you would include that.

  • The rest of your accomplishments are easier to read in a bulleted format.
  • There are occasions to include a bit more detail (as it relates to the position you’re applying for).
  • Some people like to include duties and statements like “We did this,” or “We checked that.”  We recommend you focus on your individual parts in these projects so that the person reviewing your performance knows what your role was and how you excelled. Avoid duties, and list what you accomplished or did day to day to describe to the hiring person what you are capable of.
  • If you are still in this role, please make sure you write your items in present tense.


Next Recent Employer, City, State                             Starting and Ending Month/Year

Position Title

  • From this point in your work history and back, all of your comments will be in past tense. Make sure you proof read for this.
  • We recommend you limit your number of bullets to about four or five. Sometimes you will have instances to include a little more or less but resist the temptation to list everything.
  • Your bulleted items should focus on your most relevant accomplishments related to the position description you are responding to. This can include awards, specific measurements of your daily accomplishments (i.e. handled 50+ help desk support tickets daily; awarded 2008 Employee of the Year; consistently performed at 105% of daily quota, etc.)



Depending on the amount of relevant history you have, once you get past the most recent ten years, it is common to see an abbreviated list of other positions you’ve held. This is especially true when your older jobs are similar in nature to your recent jobs. It will often appear like this:

Employer Name One, Position Title                                            Starting and Ending Month/Year

Employer Name Two, Position Title                                            Starting and Ending Month/Year

Employer Name Three, Position Title                                          Starting and Ending Month/Year



  • Typical skills to include are Computer Applications (i.e. MS Word, Outlook, Photoshop)
  • Programming languages (i.e. FORTRAN, C#, G and N Codes for CNC machining)
  • Employee of the Year, Team of the Quarter, Distinguished Trainer of XYZ
  • Six-Sigma or Kaizen certified, Train the Trainer of ABC
  • 1st place in Fundraising for NENY American Cancer Society 2010
  • Avoid the temptation to list all your personal hobbies (unless they are applicable to the position you are applying for – i.e. if you’re an avid outdoors-person, and applying for an outdoor oriented organization, that would be helpful to understand.


Those are the basics. You certainly can be led into a number of other directions including different formats, creative writing of responsibilities, embellishing a little (i.e. stretching the truth, improving the job title you had), or more. We recommend keeping it simple, well formatted, and straight forward.  In all likelihood, the first half of your resume is where hiring managers will spend the greatest amount of time – you should too. Clean up the rest, and reorder things based on each position you apply for (for what the employer considers most important).  Need more tips? Read more of our posts, come apply for one of our temporary, temp-to-hire, or direct hire positions at AccuStaff, or do some further research online.  Accept the few pieces that are most applicable to you, and scrap the rest.

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