Have you ever known someone who provided you with a list of something—say, favorite movies, favorite books, favorite cocktails, favorite vacation spots—and made clear to you that the list was in no particular order?
Well, when making a list, no particular order can be a perfectly fine mantra; when making a resume, however, it’s a sign of thoughtlessness. The order in which you list things, the way in which you organize the material on your resume, matters very much.
Putting Your Best Foot Forward
Here is an example of what we mean. Part of your resume—the bulk of it, in fact—should encompass your work history, including a list of the jobs you have held and some bullet points to denote your key achievements at each one.
The order of your jobs should be pretty obvious: Go in reverse chronological order. As for the order of your achievements/accomplishments, though, we recommend being highly methodical in your rankings, choosing to lead with your strongest achievements.
The reason for this is simple: A lot of hiring managers simply don’t have time to read your resume in its entirety, so they’re going to skim. You want to make sure you stick the most important details in the most prominent location. You want to ensure a strong first impression.
But what constitutes your “best” achievements? We recommend that you start your list with:
- Anything that has numerical metrics—numbers, percentages, etc.
- Promotions or the receipt of new/expanded responsibilities.
- Awards or special recognitions that you received.
And you work down from those. You may have some slightly less specific achievements that are well worth noting on your resume, but put them below the really striking ones.
Order of Events
There are other areas in which the order and organization of your resume matters, and for varying reasons. For instance: We recommend that most jobseekers put their professional experience first, their academic credits at the end. Most employers are going to care more about your career history than where you went to college, plain and simple. For new graduates, though, we often recommend the inverse—because frankly, for a lot of new graduates, your academic achievements are going to be your strongest selling points.
Resumes cannot be ordered randomly. You need to show attention not just to what content you include, but the order in which you include it! For further guidance, we invite you to contact Grammar Chic’s resume writing team today at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.
Amanda E. Clark founded Grammar Chic in 2008. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and English. She launched Grammar Chic after freelancing for several years while simultaneously leading marketing and advertising initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies.