A personal advertisement...a
condensed self-analysis...a ledger of your accomplishments... the
paper you. That's what a job resume has been called. As such it's
a key part of landing a job.
To be effective, a resume must catch the attention of a prospective
employer who may scan as many as 100 resumes in an hour. No wonder
job seekers cringe before a blank page that must be transformed
into a resume. The experts all agree: resume writing is a
The purpose of a resume is to gain an interview, not a job offer
(that is what happens during the interview). Therefore, you must
make the employer want to meet in person. A good resume is an advertisement
for yourself highlighting your educational and experiential qualifications.
It must be factual and written in clear, concise language. Phrases
are preferable to complete sentences. Use action words. Instead
of using statements like, 'responsible for' or 'duties included',
use verbs like 'maintained', 'performed', 'created', and 'developed'.
Your resume is one of the first things you should complete when
beginning a career. You will want to include a copy with every
job-hunting letter you mail and with every answer to a want ad.
You should have copies available for job interviewers and employment
agency counselors. It is also a good idea to give copies to friends,
associates and people you have asked to be your references. This
will bring them up-to-date on your job goals and qualifications
so they can help in your job-hunt. Always be prepared to present
yourself to employers through your own resume.
Include a Summary of Qualifications or Profile statement. This
section should be immediately below your Objective and before
your Work Experience or Education. This section highlights your
unique skills. Include any technical skills you have (ex: Power
Point, Excel proficiency, etc.) and also a couple of personal
characteristics about yourself (analytical thinker, effective
problem solver, highly organized, etc). This section helps the
employer see what unique skills you will bring to the position.
Make the most out of your resume by having a 'targeted' resume.
A targeted resume is aimed at a specific employer, so instead
of mass producing 10 resumes, and sending them out, you should
tweak each resume to give you the best possible advantage with
each specific employer.
You may also want to have a 'networking resume' .
This type of resume is given to people and companies in the area
you would like to work. You send your resume to several places,
even if they are not advertising for employment. Over 60% of
today's jobs are not advertised, so a networking resume can give
you an advantage over others vying for the same position.
Update your resume every 6 months. Have a 'rollover' ,
or a resume that lists all your previous experience, skills,
and employee contributions. This resume should be as long as
it needs to be. When it's time for you to use your resume again,
you can pick and choose from your rollover resume which experiences
to include on your 1 page resume.
your resume in an 8 ½ x
11 envelope. This way when the employer receives it, it won't
have permanent creases from being folded. The larger envelope
also helps distinguish your resume from other mail that is sent
in business size envelopes.
WHAT DO EMPLOYERS LOOK FOR IN A RESUME?
FORMAT - The resume must be easy
to read and able to be quickly scanned.
LENGTH - First time graduates should typically have a resume of only 1 page, but exceptions apply.
APPEARANCE - Resumes are expected to be printed on a laser printer
without smudges or stains.
GRAMMAR/SPELLING - Check, recheck and recheck again spelling
PAPER - Resumes and Cover Letters should be printed on matching
resume paper. If possible, use white, off white, beige or a light colored
linen paper. Avoid any paper with designs or borders.
RELEVANT INFORMATION - The resume should answer the question, "Why
are you the right person for this job?"
CONTACT INFORMATION - Contact information (including a phone
number & e-mail address if you check your e-mail on a regular basis)
should be at the top of each resume.