Resume writing is one of the key activities in your job search. An effective and powerful resume communicates the value you bring to potential employers. It must showcase how you can contribute to them, how you can solve their problems, and how you can meet their organizational needs.
Resume Writing: Tips
- Absolutely no spelling, grammar, punctuation, or typographical errors.
- Know your audience before you begin to prepare the document. Then write the resume for your defined audience.
- The resume must match your skills and abilities to a potential employer’s needs.
- A resume must address your market value and, in 20 seconds or less, answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”
- Key in on accomplishments, credentials, or qualifications.
- Sell your features and benefits. What skills do you possess, and how will they contribute to the organization’s goals and objectives?
- Avoid fluff. Ambiguities and generalities represent fluff; they render a resume inept.
- Be different, courageous, and exciting. Boring resumes lead to boring jobs.
- Package the resume in an exciting way.
- Be sure that the resume is well organized.
- The resume must be professionally presented, consistent with the industry you are pursuing.
- Your resume can have a distinct personality to it. Choose your language carefully; it will make a world of difference.
- A chronological resume format emphasizes employment in reverse chronological order. Begin with your most recent job and work back, keying in on responsibilities and specific achievements. Use this format when you have a strong employment history.
- A functional resume format hones in on specific accomplishments and highlights of qualifications at the beginning of the resume, but does not correlate these attributes to a specific employer. Use this format when you are changing careers, have employment gaps, or have challenges in employing the chronological format.
- A combination resume format is part functional and part chronological a powerful presentation format. At the beginning of the resume you’ll address your value, credentials and qualifications (functional aspect), followed by supporting documentation in your employment section (chronological component).
- A curriculum vitae is a resume format used mostly by professions and vocations in which a mere listing of credentials describes the value of a candidate. Examples include actors, singers or musicians, physicians, academic professors, etc.
- The five major sections of a resume are: 1) Heading, 2) Introduction, 3) Employment, 4) Education, and 5) Miscellaneous sections.
- Miscellaneous sections can include Military Experience, Publications, Speaking Engagements, Memberships in Associations, Awards and Recognition, Computer Skills, Patents, Languages, Licenses and Certifications, or Interests.
- Write the resume in the first person, and avoid using the pronouns
- Salary history or compensation requirements should not appear in the resume. The cover letter is made for this purpose, if it needs to be addressed at all.
- Always include a cover letter with your resume.
- If you are a graduating student or have been out of the workforce for a while, you must make a special effort to display high emotion, potential, motivation, and energy. Stress qualitative factors and leadership roles in the community, on campus, or elsewhere. By employing a degree of creativity and innovation in your career-design campaign, you are communicating to a hiring authority that you can be resourceful, innovative, and a contributing team member.
- Employment gaps, job-hopping and educational deficiencies can be effectively handled by using the combination format (or the functional format).
- The resume should be a positive document. It must tell the truth, but not necessarily the whole truth. Don’t lie, but you need not tell all, either. Keep negative thoughts and concepts out of your resume.
- The shorter the better one to two pages in most cases.
Resume Writing: More Tips