You are looking for a job and you are out to land the job of a lifetime. It can happen! Before you consider want ads, job websites, or making inquiries of companies you are interested in, you will need a resume. Your resume writing can either make or break a job opportunity.
The first thing your resume must be is functional. It is to give the employer the most information possible in one page. Resumes that are longer than one page are often put aside. Employers just don’t have the time to read every page. At best many just scan your resume and count on your cover letter and maybe an interview to glean anything else about you before you are considered for hire.
In order for your resume to be functional you group your skills into different sections and your titles at the bottom. This is the format people who are changing careers typically use. They don’t want to draw attention to gaps in employment or their lack of direct experience.
The chronological resume is well organized listing of skills, education, and employment in order from the most current experience backward or reverse order. The categories of your resume should be concise and relevant to the position for which you are applying.
If you are fresh out of college and unemployed put your education first, directly below the letterhead. You will list your school, your degree, your major and your graduation date. If space allows you can list your relevant course work, related academic awards, and/or your grade point average.
Other categories include relevant work experience, volunteer experiences and other skills such as computer skills, any publications you may have written or contributed to, and language skills as they might apply to the position.
Finally, you will list your references or make the statement “References will be furnished upon request. Let me give you important advice about references. Do not list someone as a reference unless you have obtained his or her consent to do so. You will want the person you ask for a reference to be a former boss, teacher, long time friend who is familiar with your abilities, and possibly your clergyman.
The appearance of your resume is very important. The font you use should be clear and easy to read. The suggested font for a resume is a Sans Serif font like Arial or Verdana. These fonts come out more clearly in faxes.
The format of your resume should be simple and plain. It should showcase your accomplishments. The prospective employer should be able to scan the page and get a good grasp on whether or not you would be good for the position.
Another important consideration for your resume is the type of paper you use. The most acceptable colors are white, cream, off white, and gray. They are easiest to read and the font will stand out nicely. You should use the same type of paper for your resume, your cover letter, and your envelope. Many stationery stores have sets of paper and envelopes for your resume. Go in and consult with a sales person to find out what they have to offer. You could always put it on a disk and bring the disk to a printer and have it professionally done.
When describing you’re skills, your education, or your experience. Use action words. Instead of starting a sentence with a noun use a strong verb. When you need to put in numbers use percentages, and dollar amounts. List the number of people you supervised as well.
Keep the length of your resume to one page. As has been stated employers do not have the luxury of spending a lot of time on the resumes they receive. Some companies can get a great number of resumes and most of the time they scan the resumes. Include only the most relevant information. You can fill in information in a cover letter or an interview.
An important piece of your resume is the job objective. Are you going for a teaching position?. Your resume should reflect your teacher training, your scores on specialty tests. If you were applying for a job in a department store you would list your babysitting experience. It’s all relative.
While the cover letter is not a resume, it does give you the opportunity to expand somewhat on the information you put forth in the resume. Here again use strong action words and strong descriptions. Be sure all information in the resume and the cover letter is as accurate as it can be.
There are numerous resources available for you such as pre-employment counselors, the career office at your college, and a number of books on resume writing and how to get a job. Search online, the sources on the Internet are almost limitless. If necessary go to the human resources department of a business that is similar to the one you are interested in.