Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How to Write a Résumé

These aren’t all of things you need to know, but remembering these things when creating your Résumé will lead to results, and help you to be successful in your reaching your career goals.

Be brief. No more than two pages. Your Résumé must capture the attention and interest of a prospective employer in the first few seconds, and at a glance. It isn’t meant to be a novel, or a personal biography of accomplishments. You can present more in depth information at the interview.

Objective Statement. If you use one, try to be specific and make sure it is about the contribution you will make to the organization, and not a summary of your career goals. In other words, do you really think an employer cares about your objective? Instead of writing something like “Seeking a challenging position that utilizes my experience”, try “Seeking a position as an Administrative Assistant in a prestigious law firm”.

Describe your skills. Use action words to describe your accomplishments. Bullet statements are great for saving space, including more information, and portraying your value. Refrain from simply stating your job description or responsibilities. Avoid the use of “I”.
Emphasize your accomplishments. Make each accomplishment measurable. It doesn’t matter what career field you are in – you have done something measureable. A carpenter may have “Framed eighteen, 1600 square foot residential dwellings in a twelve month period”.
Be neat, and well organized. Consistency is a plus in your presentation. The information included should be easy to read, and flow to the next subject.

Proofread. The content of your Résumé reflects your attention to detail. No mistakes! It may help to have others review your presentation for errors.

Introduce your Résumé with a cover letter - always. Think of it like this. The first time you meet a new person you don’t just walk up, shake hands and start telling them your life history. You introduce yourself. So why would you not introduce your Résumé?

Follow up on Résumé submittals. Make sure your Résumé was received, and take the opportunity to be noticed one more time. There are many reasons to follow-up after you submit your résumé, but the bottom line is to take every opportunity to help the employer remember your name. By continuing to show interest in the position, you also show initiative and persistence. This may be the one thing that sets you apart from the other job seekers, and results in getting your name on the list for an interview. You may also be able to determine if the position was filled so you can focus on other opportunities.

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