When it comes to job hunting, your resume is the most important document you will send a prospective employer. It conveys not only work history and education but also how you organize your thoughts and express yourself. For office assistants, the best resume format depends on work history, education and skills.
Organizing Your Resume
When organizing your resume, you have two main options. You can organize it in a chronological format, in which you list your employment history by date starting with your most recently held position. The benefit to organizing your resume this way is that you can clearly demonstrate to prospective employers the extent of your employment history as well as chart growth within your profession.
Another option for the best resume format is to organize your employment history in terms of your skills and abilities. This would be called a functional resume. For an office assistant position, list your qualifications complementary to the position you want in the first section. For example, if you are currently a telephone operator with a history of receptionist work, you should begin your work history by detailing your experience as a receptionist.
Office Assistants’ Resume Content and Length
Once you’ve decided how to best order the sections in your resume, it’s time to determine what information you will include in it. You do not need to list every job you’ve ever had, particularly if your work history is longer than 10 years. For example, if you waited tables 20 years ago for a summer, consider eliminating this entry, since it has relatively little bearing on your ability to work as an office assistant.
If you have education beyond high school, you can also add this to your resume. This includes not only degrees such as an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree but also certifications, diplomas and other types of education that are relevant to the position you want. One example is Microsoft Office certification, which demonstrates your ability to successfully use Microsoft’s suite of office software. Highlighting educational achievements can reflect well on your intellect and ability to commit to a long-term goal, which can help you get an office assistant job.
Other Skills that an Office Assistant Should Possess
In addition to education and experience, you may want to note relevant skills, such as computer programs you know, your typing speed, your ability to communicate well and any leadership or teamwork skills you possess. Any activities that underscore your ability to perform office work in a competent and professional manner should be included.
The best resume format Tips for an Office Assistant
The best resume format will contain an organized bulleted list to describe responsibilities or accomplishments related to each job or skill that you include. This allows you to organize important information in a readable format and makes it easier for prospective employers to learn about you.
When writing your resume, you should make sure that it doesn’t run too long. Prospective employers may spend fairly little time looking at resumes and may discard an intimidatingly lengthy resume. The best resume format for an office assistant runs about one page for every 10 years of professional experience.
Since your resume will likely be one to two pages, there should be plenty of space to include information that is critical for a prospective employer to know. Again, your resume tells an employer much more about you than just your work history. A great resume will demonstrate your ability or organize, write and think critically, which are skills that an office assistant should possess.
Consider taking time to build your resume, find sample resumes and read tips about job hunting. For more information on landing your dream job, you may find the tips on LiveCareer useful.