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When you’re seeking a job as a clerk, you’ll need to craft the kind of resume that separates your application from the pack. If you’re not sure how to do this, there’s no need to worry because the clerical resume samples below will give you an idea of the type of information to include as well as best practices. You’ll also get tips on mistakes to avoid and strong action verbs to incorporate throughout your clerical resume.
What to Include in a Clerical Resume
The contents of your particular resume will depend on the education, work experience, skills, and career goals that you have. Regardless of how much experience or education you have to list, though, there are four general sections that are usually included in all resumes, as you can see from the clerical resume samples. Among those sections are the following:
- Summary Statement
- Work Experience
When perusing the clerical resume samples, you’ll probably notice two different types of formats: the chronological format and the functional one. If you specifically followed a career path to become a clerk, then you can probably stick with the chronological format, which lists all contents in reverse chronological order. However, if you didn’t necessarily set out to become a clerk and are, instead, transitioning into the career from another career field, then you might want to consider utilizing the functional format. With the functional format, the most important contents are listed first, followed by less significant ones. The functional format gives you the chance to convince employers that, although you didn’t receive training specifically to become a clerk, you possess the skills needed to fulfill the job requirements through experience that you gained from other job positions.
How to Write the Clerical Resume Summary Statement
Let the employer know that you’re the best applicant for the job by crafting a strong summary statement that clearly states the position you’re applying for as well as your most notable skills or achievements. Ensure your summary statement appeals to the employer’s needs by rereading what the employer is looking for in an applicant in the job description and then addressing those points in your statement. You might want to mention your eagerness for learning and your dedication to the field if you don’t have much, or any, experience in the field already.
Below are a few examples of well-crafted summary statements like those you’ll find in good clerical resume samples:
- Outgoing Courtesy Clerk who excels in providing premier customer service quickly and efficiently in a busy grocery store environment. Skilled in proper bagging, inventory management, store layout, corporate standards, and relevant cleaning methods. Recognized for flexible work style and strong team approach to grocery service.
- Experienced Convenience Store Clerk who is efficient and able to maintain a busy store. Adept at accurately cashing out customers, stocking shelves on a daily basis, and cycling out baked goods to meet freshness standards. Specializes in working the day shift and maintaining product inventory.
- Efficient Admitting Clerk who deftly handles multiple tasks while providing superior service to patients and their families. Skilled in admission and registration procedures, switchboard operation, using computer admission applications, and preparing transfer forms and other paperwork. Excels in interviewing prospective patients and collecting accurate information quickly and in a personable manner.
How to Write the Clerical Education Section
Most clerical positions require at least a high school diploma, but if you have any higher levels of education to list, begin by listing them first (note: you can leave out your high school education if you have a college degree).
When listing education, list the degree followed by the name of the institution where you received it as well as the year you received it.
If you have any certifications or licenses, list them here as well. List the name of the certification followed by issuing agency and the year it was issued. Likewise, if you’ve taken any specialized courses in bookkeeping, clerical skills, or any other continuing education classes applicable to the career field, list them here. If you possess multiple certifications or licenses or have attended many continuing education classes, you may create a separate section if you wish to do so.
How to Write the Clerical Work Experience Section
The way this section is crafted depends greatly upon which resume format you’re using.
For the chronological format, list all work experience in reverse chronological order from the latest experience gained to the earliest. For each job, include the name of the position you held, followed by the place of employment and the dates of employment. Then provide a bulleted list that describes the tasks you completed while in the job position. Make sure to relate how your job duties were helpful to the company, though. Instead of simply stating your job duty, state what you accomplished through completing it.
If you’re using the functional format, you’ll want to include an ‘Accomplishments’ section that details your greatest achievements and showcases the transferrable skills you have that would qualify you for the position at hand. In turn, the work experience section would follow this area and would be a much simpler list of your relevant past jobs in descending order from the most important to the less important ones. In this case, the most important experiences would be ones that allowed you to demonstrate or gain clerical skills.
Action Verbs to Include in Your Clerical Work Experience Section
Action verbs are encouraged in resume writing not only because they strengthen the tone of the document but also because they let employers know that you’re aware of the types of duties the position entails as well as the industry terms. Some of the action verbs that you’ll likely encounter in good clerical resume samples include the following:
How to Write the Clerical Skills Section
List any skills applicable to a clerical position in this section, and list them by order of importance regardless of which resume format you’re using. Hard skills should generally be listed first, followed by soft skills. Examples of hard skills clerks might have include experience with specific software or databases, while examples of soft skills include attention to detail and customer service skills.
Show employers what a perfect match you are for their company by rereading the job description and noting any skills employers say they’re looking for, and then be sure to include them in your skills section if you possess them.
Should I Include References in my Clerical Resume?
Although the topic of references is a highly debated one when it comes to resume writing, the general consensus in the industry is not to include them unless one of two conditions are met: (a) the job description specifically asks you to include references or (b) the person you want to list as a reference is an industry expert or other notable reference.
For instance, if you served as the clerk of a notable public figure, it’s permissible to list him or her as a reference to attest to your ethical character. However, make sure you obtain permission from the person in question before listing him or her as a reference.
Clerical Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid
While there isn’t a certain formula for crafting a perfect resume, there are definitely a few mistakes you should avoid making, which is why you won’t see them in any good clerical resume samples. Some of the practices to stay away from in resume writing include the following:
- Making grammatical or spelling errors. Nothing looks more unprofessional than a resume that has errors in it. You might want to consider printing it out and checking it for errors since you might notice errors in the physical document you didn’t notice on the digital one. Alternatively, get a friend or family member to review your resume for you.
- Writing long resumes. Don’t create long resumes that detail your entire life’s history. Not only is it unnecessary, but employers don’t have time to read all of it. Resumes are supposed to be relatively short documents that provide employers with a highlight of your most notable accomplishments and entice them to call you in for an interview. Try to keep resumes one to two pages in length, like the clerical resume samples you’ve perused.
- Crafting a one-size-fits-all resume. While it’s alright to have a general resume template that you like to refer to, don’t simply create one resume template and then submit it to various employers. Instead, tailor each resume to each employer so that you can identify with their specific needs and let them know that you have what they’re looking for in an applicant. Employers can tell when you take the extra effort to tailor a resume to them, and it’s a testament to your work ethic.
- Containing inaccuracies. Make sure your resume doesn’t contain any inaccuracies, even if they are unintentional ones. For instance, you might not remember the exact dates you worked for an employer, so just write down the months and years worked. Likewise, if you’re unsure of a graduation date, look it up to make sure all information provided on your resume is accurate.
- Including too much information. Certain information is superfluous, which is why you won’t see it in any good clerical resume samples. Your hobbies, interests, and links to personal websites and social networking profiles shouldn’t be included on your resume unless they are applicable to the position you’re applying for and are professional in nature.
- Disregarding readability. Never disregard the format of your resume since this greatly affects the readability of the document. Glaring colors and graphics, distracting fonts, multiple font sizes, and other negative design elements can work together to make your resume appear unprofessional. It’s best to stick to well-known fonts like Arial and Times New Roman in 10- and 12-point font sizes when writing resumes, as you’ll see good clerk resume samples do.
Job Prospects in the Clerical Industry
It’s projected that job opportunities for clerks will grow by 11% from 2012 to 2022. Of course, that percentage is influenced by the specific industry. For instance, information clerks can expect little to no change in their job prospects, whereas general office clerks can expect a slight growth of 6% due to the need to replace retiring clerks.
Applicants who possess more information technology skills will have an edge over the competition due to the increasing integration of technology in the workplace.