First of all, if you have no idea how a resume should look like, you can try this link:
It's the link to the European Euro pass resume that most employers in Europe prefer. It's a clear, easy to use file that I personally recommend.
The main information to start a resume is:
- your name (full name, no nicknames);
- your address and contact information (be careful about emails - use a professional one, not foxylady21foryou@....com unless you are applying for video chat or something); recruiters check this;
- your nationality;
- your marital status;
The last two are not mandatory, but employers may ask about nationality to see if you need a work permit.
Marital status, children, religion, sexual orientation are not mandatory to offer and the employer is forbidden by law to reject you because of any of these. It's your choice to give them this information or not. Also, they are not allowed if you are female to ask if you are pregnant or if you plan to have any children in the near future. Pregnancy tests are also forbidden.
The next section of your resume should be the Professional experience. Some resumes have the section Professional objective before that and sometimes area in which you are interested to work in, but all those are not mandatory.
Coming back to the professional experience, you should specify the name of the employer, your position, the hiring date and ending of contract date. If you still work there, you should mention only hiring date. Besides all the above you should mention your responsibilities and achievements on the job. Try to be specific and adapt them to the specifications of the position you are applying for.
All your positions should be entered in reverse chronological order - meaning your current one first, not last.
If you don't have any experience, try to find something to put there - an internship, a volunteer campaign, a project you did in a team at the University. Try not to leave this section empty. Try to show that you tried to do something.
The next section is the studies section. Please enter all your studies in reverse chronological order mentioning the name of the studies provider, the time frames and the specialty/major you graduated or you are still following.
After long term studies, enter short term courses you had - all relevant courses in reverse chronological order. Don't offer too much detail and don't insert here courses that are not relevant to the position. An employer looking for a sales agent for example can't care less that you did a landscaping course unless you are selling landscaping products. Always think about how relevant the detail you are giving is for the position you are applying for.
A large CV is not ok. No recruiter will have the time to read. Keep it under 4 pages if you have a lot of experience and under 2 if you are fresh graduate or student. The largest CV I have ever received had 14 pages, it was for an Operations Manager position, it was relevant, but huge and I read below a quarter of it. I was desperately looking for CVs for such a position. Otherwise, I wouldn't have wasted my time. So be careful.
Additional skills: write here your technical skills - software you use, foreign languages that you speak (include only Advanced and Medium level not all languages that you know how to say "Hello" in), social skills, artistic skills only if relevant. Be careful that all you write here can be tested. If you say you speak advanced French and you don't, your CV will be rejected and you may never get another chance. Be honest and evaluate yourself correctly.
Other sections in the CV:
- prizes - keep it simple if you have to add it and write ONLY relevant information. Nobody cares that you had a first price in acting in kindergarten or in pottery class;
- Driver's license or other licenses - add only if relevant to the job;
- Hobbies - include in the CV. Some recruiters consider it relevant. However, keep it simple.
Please write to me if you have any questions. I am open for discussion.