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What is the purpose of a resume?
A well-written resume is a great marketing tool, and very often, also the first impression you will make when applying for a job. The resume should highlight your skills, abilities and talents. It is not simply a chronological list of the jobs you have held or a simple regurgitation of your responsibilities. It is an opportunity for you to provide a summary that emphasizes the reason a company should hire you and more than that, it makes the hiring authority want to call you!
What are the keys to a great resume?
When creating a resume, always keep in mind the job for which you are applying. Resumes are a work-in-progress which means objectives and content should change to accentuate your ability to perform the responsibilities of the position as well as call attention to what you specifically bring to the table. Resumes are not, “one size fits all,” so remember that it is perfectly acceptable to have different versions of your resume. Let’s get started…
Style: Choose a font (style and size) that is easy on the eyes and use that font throughout the entire resume. Unless you are applying for a job that requires strong demonstration of your creativity, choose black as the font color.
Layout: Resumes should grab and keep the reader’s attention, have a logical flow and transition smoothly to various sections. Resumes generally include sections reflecting skill set, education and work experience. The order of these sections depends on what you want the reader to notice most about you. Based on the job description and requirements, is it most important to call attention to your degree first? Should you focus on the skills that will be most helpful in this role? Do you want to point out your longevity and the industries in which you worked? Keep in mind that if you choose to include an objective, that should be the first part of your resume.
Grammar: Use correct verb tense, accurate spelling and punctuation, do not abbreviate or use acronyms that are not recognizable to the general population and make sure you are using word choices appropriately. Take advantage of the Spellcheck function on your computer. It only takes the click of a mouse and could help you avoid costly mistakes.
Dates/Essential Information: Make sure dates of employment and job titles are accurate and can be verified. Employment history should not exceed 10 years unless you have been at the same company for longer. This allows for information to be current as well as relevant. If you are re-entering the workforce after a significant break in employment, state that in your objective.
Contact Information: Include both an email address and telephone number at which you can be reached. Verify that the information is correct. There is nothing worse than being qualified for a job but unreachable due to a typo on your resume. Make sure your voicemail is not full and can receive messages. Check your messages and be sure to have the appropriate contact information when you return the call. The person who reached out to you is the one who has your resume and is interested in telling you about an opportunity, so you want to be sure to ask for that person directly.
In closing, there are many examples of resumes on-line and you should feel free to use those resources as a starting point. You can find actual templates as well as different layout options. Always provide accurate and honest information and sell yourself in a positive, confident and upbeat manner. Proofread…Proofread…Proofread before submitting your resume. Now it’s time to turn YOUR resume into a “best seller!”