Resume Writing


Why you need a resume

In today's job market, the resume has become the number one requirement potential employer’s request. Before an employer will take valuable time to interview you, he or she wants to meet you on paper. How you impress that employer with your resume can, and will, make all the difference.

Without a resume, you can't even begin to compete, and an inferior resume will quickly eliminate you before you even have a fighting chance. That is why it is imperative to have a superior resume, one that effectively lets employers know what you can do for them.

A resume is a summary of your qualifications

The term résumé comes from the French and means a "summary." That's exactly what your resume is: a summary of your qualifications, skills, and achievements. It shows a future employer what you have done in the past. It details your skills and training, work experience, education, and, most importantly, the accomplishments you have made with past employers. It should also inform the employer of your career objective (the job you are seeking) and communicate in a concise manner the benefits you will bring to the job if hired. A resume is an advertisement. It advertises you, your unique skills and qualifications, and it stresses the benefits you have to offer.

Skills versus employer benefits

One way to rise above the competition is to make sure that your resume is loaded with employer benefits, not just skills. According to resume expert Peter Newfield, today's resumes must be "results driven” rather than the skills driven resumes of the past. By reading your resume the employer must quickly understand what advantages you offer his company. Think of yourself as a product and the employer as the consumer. How would you sell your product (yourself) to the employer?

When a leading soap manufacturer came up with a new formula for their detergent, they told the public they had added a new ingredient, green crystals, and mentioned its scientific name. However, ingredients and technical jargon mean little to the consumer. What sold the product was the manufacturer's claim that these crystals were responsible for getting clothes cleaner and brighter. Whether you are selling soap or your services, people want to know the bottom line: What can you do to improve my situation? What can you offer me? Or, in short, why should l hire you?

An employer is more interested in the benefits you have to offer, than in your impressive repertoire of skills. When you write your resume, make every effort to highlight these employer benefits.

The purpose of the resume is to get you an interview

Most people think that a good resume will get them a job. This is a mistake. It is rare in today's market to find an employer who hires anyone solely on what they have read in their resume. Employers want to check you out in person before they hire you. They want you to substantiate your resume, and see if you have the personality they are looking for. This, of course, requires an interview. It is actually the interview that ultimately gets you the job.

But it is the resume that gets you the interview!

Other reasons for a resume

Although the main purpose of the resume is to get you an interview, there are other important reasons to create a resume:

Prepares you for the interview. Most employers will use your resume as a guideline when they interview you. They will ask you to explain in detail many of the statements you have made in your resume.
Organizes you. Preparing a resume forces you to assess your skills. This in turn will help you evaluate the many employment options open to you. It will also help you plan an effective job search campaign.
Let’s employers know you are actively seeking employment.
Gives you a sense of security. It's a good idea to always have an updated resume on hand. You never know when you will want to seek a better job or just a change. Also, in case you unexpectedly lose your job, it is wise to have your resume updated and ready.Targeted Search
Can be used as a calling card. It's there when you want to conduct informational interviews to test potential opportunities.

Writing an effective resume

Most positions generate hundreds of resume responses. How can employers read them all? They can't! What they will do is scan the resumes. You sometimes have less than fifteen seconds to make that all-important first impression. That is why your resume has to stand out! your resume will be read by the hiring manager and it must be written to impress.

To ensure that your resume stands out in the crowd, concentrate on the three most essential factors in writing your resume:

Select Your Must Powerful and Impressive Information

Selectivity is the key to writing a strong resume. You have only one chance to make a first impression, so you have got to give it your best shot. Don't bore the reader with endless facts about your past employment. Your resume is not an obituary or biography. lt’s an ad. Like an ad, write to impress. Present only the most significant information about your professional experience.

What is your most significant and impressive information? What information answers the employer's primary question: Why should l hire you?

Your resume must communicate: l will be an asset to your organization. It should reveal you as a problem solver with important benefits to offer. Be concise. Focus only on your achievements and skills that are required for the job you are seeking. Eliminate any extra information that detracts from emphasizing what the job requires. In the case of a resume, less is more.

Write with Impact

Use action verbs to describe your accomplishments. Action verbs conjure up a positive image in the employer's mind and give you an advantage. Action verbs describe you as a person who gets things accomplished.

Action verbs are also more concise and make your resume more readable. For electronic resumes, the name of the game is "keywords." These are usually nouns, buzzwords, or catch phrases used to describe your job and level of proficiency.

Use an Eye-Catching Layout

The best resumes are one to two page long. If you have many years of experience, you may require two pages. But under no circumstances should a resume be longer than two pages. The more concise the better. Your most pertinent information should stand out with either all caps (capital letters), boldface, or italics. You may also use bullets (') to draw the reader's attention to significant information