The Art of Resume Writing

I hate writing resumes.  However, it’s likely that at some point in your life, or maybe at many points in your life, you’re probably going to have to write a resume. A resume helps you stand out to employers so that you can obtain an interview. It doesn’t have to be a chore and it doesn’t have to be something you dread. Remember that people who are hiring have a problem — and you can be the person to solve that  problem.

Objective Statement

This should be simple and direct. You’re simply stating which job you’re applying for so that the potential employer can skim through your resume to see if you’re a good fit. The sentence can be something really simple: “I would like to obtain a position as a restaurant manager.” Or you might say, “Objective statement: To obtain experience in the financial industry.”

However, if you’re worried about the objective, or you don’t know what to say, it’s perfectly acceptable to leave it off as long as you replace it with a good strong statement that supports your ability to do the job well and to excel at it, based on your previous experience. You might consider using this space as a way to mention some of your skills that you don’t mention later, such as the opportunity to balance your interest in finances with your passion for travel.

Your Qualifications

This section is a summary of your professional experience. Use specifics, with strong verbs. Include numbers.

Look at the qualifications listed in the job on the website or the newspaper and use their keywords. This means that you will be creating a new resume (that probably has some components of the old one) for each different position and each different company that you apply for. Make sure your resume lines up with what they mention. Do they want someone who is able to multi-task? Use the word “multi-task” and describe how you’ve multi-tasked. Include information about how you’re organized or manage your time effectively while still using the necessary keywords.

This is also the time to use “power verbs” to show your skills. Consider the following:

Edited

Adapted

Inspected

Maintained

Built

Assembled

What Have you Accomplished?

Another way to look at this section is to consider how you have helped advanced any companies you worked for previously. Did you help redesign a magazine’s layout? Include that. Did you balance the budget and establish a new methods of bookkeeping? Or maybe you increased sales by 15% through your marketing campaign or introduced greener initiatives to the company. Maybe you’ve created and maintained the company’s Twitter page, leading to more customers and higher customer satisfaction.

This is not the time to list a generic overview of what your career has looked like over the last five years. Instead, do a little bragging and get noticed for things that you might not have had that much recognition for doing.

What Experience Do You Have?

Where did you get your education? What did you study? Where have you worked?

Make sure to include that in reverse chronological order (which means that you start with the most recent and work your way back into time). Also, only include your GPA if it’s a 3.0 or higher.

Don’t forget to include internships or anything else you think is relevant, including if you volunteer your time somewhere or have completed community service. This will stand out to your future employers.

 

Remember that you write a resume so that you can entice an employer to schedule an interview. To make it easier for that to happen:

Make Social Media Connections

It’s still about who you know. People are more likely to hire someone when someone else says good things about them, particularly if it’s someone they know and trust. Make connections on LinkedIn. Clean up your Facebook profile so it’s clean and professional, without swear words or pictures of you miraculously downing that keg of beer without passing out. If you’re using social media to promote your resume, it also indicates that you know what you’re doing with social media, which is important for companies in this day and age.

Be Creative

Include a QR code so they can scan your resume and immediately pull up your LinkedIn profile, your Twitter page or your portfolio. Save them the trouble of doing it and show them that you’re capable of making their lives easier and maybe giving them the tools they need to remain competitive. You can also put together a video resume. Find ways to SHOW the company that YOU can meet their needs.

Include a Cover Letter

Cover letters are in right now. In the cover letter, tell them that you want the job, that you’re qualified, that you’re excited about it and that you think you can bring something to the table – and tell them what it is. The cover letter will get them to read the resume and it’s an opportunity to be you and sho some of your enthusiasm.

Check Your Contact Information

Is your phone number correct? Your name? Your e-mail address? Make sure that it is, or you’ll never get the call – no matter how much they want to hire you.

Before you send your resume in, make sure that you spell check it and that it makes sense. If you’re worried, sent it to a friend to read through. A second pair of eyes never hurts.

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Comments

  1. Michelle, fabulous content here on your blog today! All so important.

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