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How to Write a Resume

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  • How to Write a Resume

    Learning how to write a resume properly is a skill that will pay off again and again. A resume is not only your ticket to a job interview, it is also a template for questions a prospective employer will ask during this job interview. So it must be an accurate snapshot of exactly why you are the right person for the job you are applying for.

    Furthermore, remember the old adage: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Learning how to write a resume properly to make a strong first impression is what will give you the chance to make a second impression during an interview.

    So here are the initial steps for how to write a resume that works:

    1. Conduct some research on different types of resumes.

    In brief, there are two types of resumes: Chronological and Functional
    • A chronological resume is a "normal" resume which details all of your experience, education, and includes a summary or an objective statement.
    • A functional resume is used for people whose skills and/or education overpower their experience. A functional resume typically includes a whole section which details your skills and then a section which only states your job title, company, dates of employment, and the city and state of the company. 2. Appearance matters!

    The appearance of your resume should be eye-catching, clear, easy to read ( including using the right resume font! ), and include some standard information.

    All resumes should include:
    • Personal Information (name, address, city, state, zip code, phone number with area code, and email)
    • A resume objective statement (or summary)
    • Current and previous employment information
    • Education, training, licenses, and certifications

    3. Write resume objective statements or summaries:

    Think about the type of job you are trying to get and what you can do for the employer.

    Your summary or objective statement should:
    • tell the employer what you can do for them in this position and what you will bring to the organization
    • mention the skills you have that would be most relevant to the position(s) you are applying for
    • above all else give a positive first and lasting impression

    4. Describe your work history...and be truthful!

    If you think your work history is holding you back, look into using a functional resume effectively.
    • Always use bullet points when listing your work duties. Never write your job duties in paragraphs.
    • Do not use the words "I", "my", "me", or "we." Resumes should be user-centered.
    • Be clear but provide enough detail. Don't just write one sentence...this is rarely enough for an employer to understand what you did.

    5. Include your education...all of it!

    Your educational background is part of the big picture of who you are, so you should include all of it. Even if it was a long time ago.

    Do not lie or exaggerate your education and qualifications. Don't claim to have completed a degree, course or education if you didn't. Furthermore, regardless of how old or unrelated a previous degree is, include it.

    As a recent graduate or switching careers to something similar to your degree, add relevant coursework from your studies - not just add English, Math, Psychology, Grammar, etc. Include the exact title of the courses.

    6. Add resume keywords:

    Resume keywords are an important aspect to consider when figuring out how to write a resume that will work for you. These are the words that employers are already tuned into has they are sifting through the applications they receive. They will ensure your resume lands in the short-list to be contacted for an interview.

    Furthermore, some employers dealing with large volumes of applications use scanning tools which pick up on specified keywords. There are different keywords for each job field so search the internet to see what the keywords for your industry are.

    Carefully read the job description you are applying for an implement words they have in the description of what they are looking for.

    7. Grammar, spelling, grammar, spelling!! Get it right!

    Always proofread your resume and have someone else read it as well. You know that for some employers, resume errors are cause to discard an application. It may not be fair, but it is the reality when employers are dealing with large volumes of applicants.

    Try to have someone else read over your resume for you to catch any errors you may have missed.

    Put your resume down for a couple hours or overnight before returning to it the next day. This is the best way to catch small mistakes.

    Last but not least: double check your contact information! Do we really need to explain why this is so important? I don't think so...

    8. Sometimes it needs to be rewritten!

    There is always one final step to take when learning how to write a resume, and unfortunately it can take some time - but it will make all the difference in landing those job interviews.

    Have a look at your resume and ask yourself these questions:
    • Do I recognize myself and the experience I have when I quickly skim through the resume?
    • Is this the exact picture I wish to present of myself, or have a short-changed myself in some areas and overemphasised others? Learning how to present yourself is a key aspect of learning how to write a resume that works.
    • Is it a fair picture of my experience, skills and accomplishments? Have a devalued or overvalued some aspects?

    There is a fine line between emphasizing and exaggerating. Sometimes it happens accidentally. Consequently, many people end up reconstructing their resume multiple times in order to present their skills, accomplishments and experience effectively and forcefully.

    In conclusion...

    Do not dismay if you you have put a lot of time into a first or second draft of your resume, and yet feel it needs to be rewritten further - this is precisely what those who succeed do in order to succeed.

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  • #2
    Great tips here. I saved this article for when I'm looking for jobs in a year or so. Right now just adding a bunch of extra curricular stuff at school


    • #3
      I'm trying to get to the point where I never need a resume again but thanks anyway, LOL


      • #4
        Valuable tips that you have provided here, i have prepared my resume by following your tips thank you for your valuable and useful information.