Most job candidates fail to understand this, but a good resume - when carefully prepared - is a powerful sales tool. Just like a full page ad in a magazine, your resume will be out there representing you to any number of potential employers. So, take the same care as the writer of that magazine ad and make sure your resume highlights your unique set of skills and experience. Even for very competitive job openings, keeping this in mind will help you stand out against the competition. As we all know, just getting started is often the hardest part. That goes doubly when it comes to writing a good resume.
To avoid feeling overwhelmed, give yourself permission to take a stab at it, knowing that you can edit and change it once your get something on paper. With that in mind, here are a few points to get you started. Gather All the Information You Will Need Up-Front Use a legal pad, a notebook, put it in spreadsheet form - whatever is easiest. The concept is to gather all of your source materials together for easy reference. This information should include personal information, work history, skills, awards and achievements, education.
everything that could conceivably be needed for your resume. This step is meant to keep you focused on information collection - not on editing or formatting. When the time comes to actually commit something to paper, you will get the best results if you start with as much information as possible. Decide On the Best Format Generally speaking, most resumes follow a similar format. However, there are some differences - some subtle, some easily noticed - that apply depending on your situation. For example, if you are right out of school and have little work experience, your focus will be more on education, skills, and abilities.
You will put your education more prominently on the page. You can use major projects or volunteer work to help fill out your experience - if you can show how it is relevant to the position you want. If you have experience, but gaps in employment, you can format the information to focus less on dates and more on responsibilities and abilities. If you have many years of experience, you will be more concerned with what to leave out so that the format is no longer than 2 pages.
List Your Qualifications for the Job The job market is far too competitive to get by with the old school style of resumes that simply states employment history, as if to say: "here I am.now offer me a job." Instead, you need to think about why you would be a great candidate for each employer. Start by listing all of your various qualifications.
Then, with a specific employer in mind - plus what you know about the opening they have - write a job objective. Although this objective is uniquely you, it should also be written to show what you can offer for the specific job you are applying for. By first assembling a full list of your qualifications, you can begin to edit them, including what is uniquely you. Start by picking out maybe 6, but no more than, say, 10 or your most outstanding qualifications for the job.
These can be related to work experience, transferable skills, or overall accomplishments. Next, put these into simple, clear statements that sum up your qualifications. List Your Previous Employment and Education The most common style of resume contains a list of previous employers along with your role with each one. Give your job title as well as the major skills and accomplishments for each position, starting with the most recent. If you have many years of experience, you can decide to drop experience at a certain point in the past.
If you do this, you should also make it clear that you are quite ready to discuss anything in your work history during an interview. After your work experience, typically you will summarize your education and related credentials - college, the degree obtained and when. An exception to this, as previously pointed out, might be for the person just starting out their career with no significant work experience. Generally, references are not added to the resume. Instead, simply make note that you will provide references upon request.
Final Formatting You can get special resume formatting software if you feel the need. You can write your resume with any document editor using a simple, clean format and get results that are every bit as good. Simple and clean means that the text is formated and spaced so that it is not difficult to read. Use indented bullets to list items in a clear manner. Use bold for your contact information as well as for the major section names (for example, "Employment History", "Education", etc.).
You are almost finished. But before you stop, make yourself read your final version several times. You've come too far to allow any typos, or unclear passages to sneak through!.
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