10 Tips For Writing A Winning Resume
Your resume (or curriculum vitae), combined with the coverletter, are the master keys to opening the prospectiveemployer's mind and door so that you can proceed to thenext step in the process - the big interview!
RESUME WRITING TIPS AND STRATEGIES
Here are 10 valuable tips for anyone writing their ownresume, or who is having someone else write one for them.These tips and strategies are an abridged version of whatis contained in my new eBook, "Instant Home Writing Kit".
1. Keep It Focused and Businesslike
A resume should be specific and all business. Don't try tobe too smart or too cute. After all, you are asking anemployer to invest significant time and money by choosingyou over many other similarly qualified people. Employersmainly want to know whether you are appropriately qualifiedand experienced, and if you have the ability to "deliverthe goods."
2. More Than Two Pages Is Too Much
For students, recent graduates, or people with just a fewyears of experience, try to keep your resume to one page,two as an absolute maximum. Even a resume for someone with20 years or more of extensive working experience, shouldnot exceed three pages. In some cases, one or two "optional"pages can be referred to as "available upon request." Thesewould be such optional annexes as a list of references oran inventory of recent projects and/or publications.
3. Get The Words and Punctuation Right
Make sure the grammar, spelling, and punctuation in yourresume are perfect. Any obvious mistakes will hurt yourcredibility. Also, be sure to keep the language clear andsimple. If you draft it yourself, have someone withexcellent writing skills do an editorial review and acareful proofread of it. If a professional prepares it foryou, such reviews are the responsibility of the resumepreparation firm. Use an accepted English language "styleguide" if you want to be sure of the finer points of wordusage, punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations, etc.
4. Read Between The Lines
Customize the resume to match the stated requirements ofthe job that you are applying for, without being misleading.Review and analyze the job advertisement carefully. Lookfor and itemize the key qualifications, skills, andabilities the employer is seeking. Then identify certainkey words that are usually repeated in such ads. Make surethat the wording and sequence of points in your resumereflect and address these "corporate terminologies" and"code words" as much as possible. When possible, study thecompany's annual report and Web site, and weave the themesand terms found there into your resume and cover letter.
5. Make Sure It Looks Good
Use a crisp, clean, simple presentation format for aprofessional looking resume. Just a bit of simple line workand/or shading, done with standard word processing softwarewill do the trick. If you don't have the aptitude for this,there is most likely someone among your friends or in youroffice who can help you achieve a professional presentation.If not, seek professional advice. It won't cost much for agood simple layout, but it will make a world of differenceto the product.
6. Show What You Can Do Today
Focus, first and foremost, on your recent experience thatis most relevant to the position at hand. Less relevantand/or dated experience should be either eliminated orsummarized in brief point form near the end of your resume.When reviewing your resume information, a prospectiveemployer wants to know what you are doing now, what youhave done recently, and how that relates to the jobrequirements of the post they are trying to fill.
7. Be A Straight-Shooter
Be completely honest. When people lie or "creativelyexaggerate" on their resume, they are almost invariablyexposed, sooner or later. Think about it - who reallywants to get a job based on a lie(s) and then have to livein fear of eventually being found out? We often read in thenewspaper about high-profile folks who get caught in aresume falsehood or exaggeration, and it isn't very pretty.
8. Follow The Instructions
Submit your resume in exactly the form that the prospectiveemployer requests. If they say e-mail or fax is okay, do itthat way. However, if they ask for it by regular mail, sendit the way they ask. They must have reasons for requestingit in such a form and they are geared up to process it thatway. If your resume is to be sent by snail mail, use thecomplete address that they specify, or it could go to thewrong office, especially in a large organization.
9. Don't Get Lost In The Mail
Be careful to respect certain conventions that the potentialemployer may require in your resume. For example, make surethat the cover letter mentions the exact name of thespecific position you are applying for, and the competitionnumber, if applicable. Sometimes an employer will requestthat the job title and/or number be printed on the outsideof the envelope. You would not want to miss out on a jobbecause you didn't follow minor administrative requirements.
10. Keep The Cover Short and Focused
In the cover letter, don't repeat what is already detailedin the body of the attached resume. It is a "cover" letter.It should be short and to the point. Introduce yourselffirst, and then briefly summarize why you believe that youhave the qualifications and experience to fulfill theduties of the position better than anyone else. Expressenthusiasm about the job and the company. Close by statinghow you are looking forward to hearing more from them soon,and that you will follow-up if necessary.
The above list can be used as a "checklist" both duringthe preparation phase, and when reviewing your resume justbefore submission.
To see a fully-formatted "real-life template" of a resume,you can check out the following link:
© 2005 by Shaun Fawcett
Shaun Fawcett, is webmaster of the popular writing help siteWritingHelp-Central.com. He is also the author of severalbest selling "writing toolkit" eBooks. All of his eBooks andhis internationally acclaimed f-r-e-e course, "Tips and TricksFor Writing Success" are available at his writing tools site:http://www.writinghelptools.com
Why One Word Answers Are Bad News At Job Interviews
It takes a lot of time and effort to get invited to a job interview. Don't blow your chances by being misunderstood by the interviewer. Not many people are aware that giving one word answers to questions, substantially increases your chances of conveying the wrong impression.Active Listening Skill Tips for InterviewsDuring a job interview, a potential employer asks, "Can you take on more than one project at a time?" If you respond, "Yes," you may want to rethink that answer. According to Dynamic Listening: Interview Skills, a computer based training module from Mindleaders in Columbus, Ohio, you should avoid one-word or one-sentence answers.Be specific. And speak money-language. Here's a preferred answer to the question above, "In general, dep...(related: Employment)
How To Transform A Boring Note Into A Killer Cover Letter - Part Ii
In Part I, we covered how to grab the reader's attention with the opening sentence. Nowwe'll get them interested, arouse desire, and get them to take action. Let's get moving.InterestNow that you have the reader's undivided attention. The next step is get them interested in what you have to offer. In this case, since you're applying for a job, the goal is to get the reader interested in you, right?So how do you do that? You feed them interesting facts. Like how much money you sav...(related: Employment)
Conducting An Effective Interview
An employment interview is a goal oriented conversation in which the interviewer and the applicant exchange information. Even though interviews are a poor selection tool for most jobs, they are often the primary method used in evaluating applicants. The main players in the job interview are the interviewer and the applicant.The interviewer should have a pleasant personality, empathy, and the ability to listen and to communicate effectively. He or she should be aware of stereotyped views of the capabilities of women and minorities, and should be knowledgeable of the laws governing employment practices. In addition, a solid knowledge of the job and its requirements are indispensable to properly assess the applicants' qualifications. Through open-ended and probing questions, four m...(related: Employment)
Leave Your Dead End Job?for Good!
So here you are?stuck in a dead end job. Are you hitting the glass ceiling in a job you once loved, but now can't stand? Maybe the hours are long. Maybe you can't stand retail customers anymore. Maybe you're like 70% of college students who didn't earn a degree and you feel this is the best job you can get without one.Take heart. There are a lot of great careers out there, especially for people who have some work experience. But how will you get trained and how can you go to school when you're still working?after all you've got bills to pay, maybe kids, a car payment and a mortgage? A career college can train you and get you the right certification to get into a better job and a better future.Career colleges offer relevant coursework, proper accreditation and flexible schedules to get you into a better career in me...(related: Employment)
175 Power Verbs And Phrases For Resumes, Cover Letters, And Interviews
While you're revamping your resume or cover letter or constructing your proof-by-example stories for interviews, you'll find you need to watch your word choice. Why? Communication is powerful if the words we use to communicate are powerful. That's not all it takes, but the right words make for a good beginning.
So as you craft achievement statements or write paragraphs that sell your skills or draft interview responses to knock the employers' socks off, consider these sugges...(related: Employment)
Preventing The Runaway Candidate
Municipal and law enforcement officials in Georgia are still calculating the final costs associated with the "runaway bride". Much like the runaway bride, the "runaway candidate" can have a devastating effect upon a potential employer. In today's competitive market for top candidates, most employers co...(related: Employment)
Networking Masterclass - Part 2 Practicing Altruism
The 'Golden Rule' occurred in the Greek and Chinese cultures thousands of years before the Christian era: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
The spirit of the Golden Rule is one of generosity a...(related: Employment)
Job Search: The End Of The Line
There is an end to the job search tunnel!It has been a long, hard road: layoff, unemployment, fear, depression, and occasionally panic or despair. Beyond the trauma of losing your job stre...(related: Employment)
10 Tips For Writing A Winning Resume
Your resume (or curriculum vitae), combined with the coverletter, are the master keys to opening the prospectiveemployer's mind and door so that you can proceed to thenext step in the process - the big interview!RESUME WRITING TIPS AND STRATEGIESHere are 10 valuable tips for anyone writing their ownresume, or who is having someone else write one for them.These tips and strategies are an abridged version of wh...(related: Employment)
Blogging For Candidates 101: Nuts And Bolts
A "blog" is simply an internet (web) log. Blogs are created for personal or professional use. They may promote a product or service, or merely serve as a personal online journal. There are currently just over four million blogs today, with a new blog born every seven seconds.The problem of cocooning candidatesToday, we work and live in an era of heightened cynicism and secrecy. Isn't it much harder than it used to be to call into a company and attempt to speak wi...(related: Employment)
What Is Contract Programming? An Alternative To The Conformity Of Everyday Employment
What is contract programming, you ask? Well, when companies need specific computer programming expertise, for temporary periods of time, they generally hire a contract programmer or an employee of a consulting firm. Contractors almost always have a higher hourly wage than a salaried employee and are often paid for overtime. Contracts can last from one to three months to many years, depending on the situation. A contract programmer generally does one thing: program (code) for the duration of the contract. So, contract programming is just an area of computer consulting. Other areas of computer consulting include custom developers, network consultants and information technology (IT) consultants. The contract programmer can work via two forms of contracts: 1) "W-2...(related: Employment)