A resume is just one tool someone like you uses to sell yourself to prospective employers. The resume is an outline of your experiences, education and skills that any prospective employer can read quickly in order to determine if you are a good candidate for a job interview. The goal of your resume is to get you that interview. The resume is a sales tool with the purpose of giving you the opportunity to sell yourself to your desired employer. During my last three classes of my business management degree I learned how to craft a successful resume.
You need to make not only a quick impression on the reader of your resume but also a lasting impression on their mind about you as an individual. You have to build the desire to meet you in the few seconds that it takes for someone to scan your resume. You do NOT want your resume to end up in the wastepaper basket. Typically it takes a person reading a resume 30 seconds to decide to pitch it or keep it. It is vital that you take the time to prepare a proper resume so that you can successfully pass those 30 seconds of scrutiny.
There are a few key points that should be focused on when planning and writing a successful resume. The first key point is that your resume should be written with a particular job in mind. When planning what to write you must know what the responsibilities are for the job you are applying for and what skills and education are required in order to be the successful candidate for that job. You must think like an employer. Write your resume with the needs of the employer in mind. Organize your resume around the job requirements and the benefits the employer will receive if they hire you and you will have a winning resume in your hands.
To discover what particular job requirements might be for the position you are interested in filling do a search of some of the more popular career websites such as Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com. Take a good luck at what employers are looking for on these sites. Make a list of the job requirements and the job titles so that you can use them when crafting your successful resume. Once you have this information it will be easier to write a focused resume.
It is important to use the right words and phrases on your resume to peak the interest of your prospective employer. It may take several revisions before you are satisfied with your resume. Always make sure that you ask several qualified persons to critique your resume before using it for the first time.
Start out with a precise job objective. State exactly what job position you are seeking and with what kind of company.
Brainstorming is an under-rated tool when it comes to crafting your resume. You will want to brainstorm about the different areas of your resume including the sections of education, activities, interests, work experience, honors and awards, and also skills and abilities. It may be beneficial to list each category on a separate sheet of paper for your brainstorming session. Write everything you can think of that pertains to that category that describes you. Remember that the purpose of the resume is to make the reader interested in meeting you. Describe yourself in a manner that will describe the perfect candidate for the position you are seeking. Do not make up things just be sure to include anything of a positive nature in each category. When it comes to resumes, different is always better. Different allow you to stand out from the crowd. Your resume will be in a crowd of other resumes and your resume must stand out in the pack.
Keep in mind that a resume is a summary of your achievements and not the story. The interview is when you get to explain what appears on your resume. The interview is the time for expanding on what appears on your resume.
Under the education section you will need to list all schools you attended including exchange programs, off-campus study programs, your major area of study, any educational qualifications you achieved or relevant training you received. Make sure that what you list under this category relates to the job you are seeking. Do not waste any of the valuable space contained on your resume with information that the prospective employer won’t care about because it is not related to the position he/she is hiring for.
Under the work experience section you will need to list all the job experiences that relate to the one you are applying for that will show the skills or responsibilities you had for each position. You will wish to write down your successes in the field or any recognition you received while completing tasks that were assigned to you. This is the area of the resume where prospective employers will discover what benefits you will give them and be you’re WHY they should interview you. This is where impressive numbers, sales percentages and the like belong.
Under activities you should list any hobby, club membership, or group that you belonged to that is related to the job position that you are applying to fill. If you had any leadership positions this is where you want to list them.
Once you have finished all the categories on your brainstorming agenda you will want to take a good look at each paper and focus on the items that are targeted specifically for the position you are applying to fill. If it does not relate, cross it off the list. If you have plenty of items then keep the most recent ones and cross off the others. Résumé’s should not be all-inclusive. An employer does not need to know about your high-school jobs if you are in your 30s, 40s or 50s.
A successful resume contains clear and concise sentence structure. The sentences should be interesting to read with lots of action verbs at the beginning of each sentence. Use descriptive nouns and short phrases that contain qualifying keywords such as the skills, talents or relevant job knowledge you previously researched as being part of your job requirements.
Grab keywords from the job descriptions that you read on the career Websites.
Successful resumes always contain current contact information, your objective, relevant experience, current education pertaining to the job you are applying for and a list of employment.
Your contact information goes in the header of your resume.
Your job objective is the focal point for the reader and helps to identify the position you are seeking to fill.
Your education information should include where and when you graduated and majors, minors, areas of concentration, and any academic awards or honors received by you. If you have a strong GPA (3.0 or higher) include this in this section.
The employment section should include the dates you were employed, the names and locations of the employers and the position titles. List responsibilities, special achievements, notable contributions you made and any skills you acquired that would benefit the position you are presently applying to win. If you have relevant volunteer work or independent study experiences that add to your skill level definitely include them too. Feel free to use separate heading in this section if it will help to clarify your experience.
Never include the actual references on your resume simply state that “references are available upon request”. Do make sure that you have at least 3 individuals to serve as references at the time of your interview. Always ask permission of these individuals. Include names, addresses, and phone numbers on a separate sheet of paper that you prepare at the time you craft your resume. Send this separate sheet along with your resume or just carry it with you at the time of the interview. Do not use personal acquaintances as references, only current or past employers, and faculty.
There is an excellent resource for crafting a resume found on America’s JOBbank. Click the link in the previous sentence to discover more detailed information about successful resumes.
Crafting a successful resume that lands you that dream job is indeed possible if you follow the simple outline above and remember to focus on the desired position while exhibiting the benefits that you can provide to the prospective employer.