You want your resume to stand out from the competition and attract the attention of a hiring manager or human resources department. One way to achieve this is to choose a resume format that best suits your experience, skills and qualifications. Knowing how to format a resume that reflects your unique background as a retiree will increase your chances of being interviewed.
1. State your full, formal name. Your name should be in a simple, large font at the top of the first page. When learning how to format a resume, note that it is not appropriate to include nicknames, though suffixes are generally allowed.
2. Make it easy for the company to contact you by providing your cell phone number, email address and mailing address.
3. Write a resume summary. As an important part of how to format a resume, you will need to craft a resume summary statement that succinctly details your qualifications in just one or two sentences. This statement should have concrete facts related to your skills and successes in your employment history.
4. Explain your education. If you have a college degree, name the institution, your major and any honors that you received. If you have more than one college degree, such as a master’s and bachelor’s degree, list the most recent degree that you earned first, and follow that in reverse chronological order with your other degrees. Don’t include the date of graduation if it’s quite a few years ago or if putting the date would cause a gap on the resume. If you do not have a college degree, list any vocational schools that you attended or any certifications that you hold along with any relevant coursework. List your high school’s name as well if you don’t have a college degree.
5. List your employment history. Start with your most recently held job. Name your most recent position, such as “Business Analyst” or “Cashier,” as well as the company’s name and the dates of your employment. Make a short list of your on-the-job successes, such as “Assisted customers in both English and Spanish.”
6. Continue listing your employment history. If you have a long employment history, explain each position with just one sentence of information. For employment histories that span many decades, you may wish to condense these into a functional statement, such as “Cashier, 1974 to 2014,” rather than making a separate sentence for every cashier position that you may have had.
7. Detail any additional skills that you have. If you have a Red Cross lifeguard certification, for example, note it if it is relevant to the job you are applying for. Lifeguard certification would be relevant to a job at a community recreation center.
8. List your volunteer work and group memberships, especially if it has been a while since you had a paid job. If you have worked as a volunteer in a capacity that relates to the job to which you’re applying, noting this unpaid experience can show potential employers that you have relevant skills. For example, if you are applying to work in a pet supplies store, you could list your volunteer work walking dogs at your local dog shelter.
9. Explain any other notable achievements that you want potential employers to know. If you have worked with your high school alumni association to raise $50,000 in funds for a new auditorium, for example, list it here.
On the LiveCareer website, you can find more helpful information about how to format a resume as a retired person. You’ll also find out about how to format a resume for a specific job and how to write a resume summary or objective.