"Selling yourself" isn't the only component of finding a job or assignment. You need a clear, solid representative. a resume. It's your emcee, your agent, often the first impression you make on the person reading it. The resume must be concise, relevant, and must ring true in order to help you find the ideal position that matches your skills, goals, and abilities. It need not reveal everything about you, but enough to intrigue the hiring manager and induce him or her to assume you'll make a dynamic contribution to the team.
No singular way to construct your resume exists. Some employers expect the resume to reflect a well-rounded individual, while others expect it to reveal a concrete focus supported by relevant experience. Within each held, different expectations exist. For example, a graphic design firm might encourage its applicants to use creative approaches in their resumes—electronic presentation, unusual paper, etc. but an accounting firm would not respond well to a resume written m experimental fonts, folded up origami-style in a transparent envelope. A primary function of your resume is to make an effective presentation of your value to the organization.
This guide will help you:
· Gain insight into the job-searching process
· Create a powerful, personalized job-seeking packet
· Construct or rebuild your resume
· Present yourself as a dynamic candidate on paper and in person
· Understand interviewing and professional etiquette
Building Your Resume
Before writing your resume, spend some time brainstorming or creating a "resume worksheet" to ease into the process. While it's important to be honest, you don't need to reveal every incident in your working experience. (if you worked for two months taking inventory at a book shop in 1988, chances are that doesn't pertain to your current goal of becoming a human resources representative.) But in this early stage, write it all down. You can cross it off later. Consider your experiences and corresponding skills, notable accomplishments, special recognition, career objectives, educational background, computer knowledge, volunteer services, extracurricular activities—essentially everything that represents you.
Once you do this, read over your list and ask yourself, "Does my prospective manager need to know this about me, considering my professional goals?" Always remember your audience. If you're applying for a computer technician position, your experience working in your college computer lab is great supporting information. However, your potential supervisor needn't be informed of your membership in a fraternity in college.
Most resumes follow a chronological structure, which is easily understood and widely accepted by businesses today. Begin by listing your most recent accomplishments first, and then work backward, identifying your achievements and positions by date. The chronological resume should show:
· You have a consistent work history that relates to your next professional goal
· Your growth and development
· Connections between your skills and experiences
What makes a resume rise to the occasion? Presentation, strategy, and substance. When your potential employer pulls your resume out of the envelope, appearance is the first consideration. He or she will then assess whether it's logical —does it flow well, or are words jumbled together incoherently? If it's cohesive, he or she will next evaluate the substance of your resume. Does it relate well to the position for which you're applying? Do you have enough relevant experience to receive an interview? These are all initial, general inquiries a hiring manager might have.
Career Objective Statement
Including an employment objective at the top of the resume separates the focused candidate from the unfocused one. Think long and hard about what you want to do. Write down all of your aspirations. Seeing them all on paper will help you focus on your goals. Even if you are not absolutely sure that a particular position is ideal for you, it's important that you include an objective that complements the opportunity at hand. Otherwise you might not receive a call for an interview. For example, you are searching for an administrative assistant position, but suits
unsure is you best. You find an opportunity to apply for you're which field an administrative assistant position at a doctor's office. Your objective might read. "To find a challenging administrative assistant position in the medical field that involves organization, multi-task coordination, and project responsibilities." In contrast, an objective that reads "To find employment so that I can save enough money to go back to school, "will not garner you an interview anywhere, even if it's the complete truth.
Desirable Employee Traits
The following are among the top traits employers expect from applicants. By carefully constructing your accomplishments on your resume and listing tangible examples, you will show you have all or some of the following traits:
· Intelligence/ aptitude
· Interpersonal relations
· Acceptance of responsibility
· Energetic attitude
· Goal attainment
· Focus and direction
Desirable Employee Skills
Hiring managers look for the following employee skills when making hiring decisions. You can demonstrate your skills by providing examples of when you prevailed in the following ways:
· Ability to handle conflict
· Vocational/ educational skills
· Public relations
· Oral communication
· Written communication
· Budget management
· Deadline management
· Interview proficiency
· Negotiation/ mediation
· Teaching/ instruction
Please review the resume on page 10 for examples of the above traits and skills.
Sources of Experience and Skills
If you do not have a long employment history or you want to switch career tracks, remember that you can gain and report on these skills and abilities in many ways:
· Volunteer work
· Participation in school or community activities
· Specific school courses
· Part-time or summer jobs
Reviewing and Editing Your Resume Your Professional Story
Think about the professional story you want your potential employer to know about you. Then read over your resume draft. What type of story does your resume draft tell about you? Keep this question in mind and read over your resume a few times. Does it depict you as someone with a strong work ethic in search of a robust career opportunity? Does it tell the story of a drifter, going from job to job without much direction? Are there commonalities among your jobs? Can you draw connections between your skills and your experiences?
Getting Your Resume Read
Although you might have all the right information in your resume, if the format is confusing or has noticeable errors, your reader might eliminate it. Follow these tips to ensure that you remain in the candidate pool:
· Don't use script fonts. Fonts such as Times New Roman or Book Antiqua or other serif-fonts are ideal for text; sans-serif fonts such as Anal or Futuna work well for headings.
· Avoid using first-person pronouns.
· If you're applying for positions in a creative field, make sure any graphic elements or unusual layouts have a purpose.
· Avoid dense paragraphs; use short, succinct sentences.
· Use the "white space" to your advantage; the eye needs an occasional break from text.
· Use bullets, italics and boldface text when appropriate, but do not overuse.
· Use a font that is at least 10 points.
· Use high-quality paper, preferably made with cotton or linen.
· Print each resume on a laser printer or high-quality ink jet, do not photocopy.
· Powerful Language
· Use positive, persuasive language that adequately describes you and your experiences.
· Emphasize your competencies and accomplishments.
· Use as many action verbs as possible (please see Figure 1 on the following page).
· Cite specific experiences to support your skills and traits.
· Use industry jargon only if you're sure your reader will understand.
· Proofread several times, and have a friend look it over for readability and
HOW TO WRITE A BETTER RESUME
A good resume cannot get you a job. but a bad resume can prevent you from getting the interview and without the interview there's no chance of getting the job. The new rules for better resumes start with the fact that there are fewer rides. There's an opportunity for some creativity, but not for gimmicks. What works today is a conservative style and a focus on key achievements — especially those that are of particular interest to the reader. Remember, what interests an employer for let's say an executive assistant position, may not interest the employer hiring a desktop publishing specialist. That's why it is essential that people who qualify for several different jobs (and many do) have several different resumes. All resumes should be accurate and truthful, but each should highlight different strengths as they relate to the job opening. Obtaining better jobs today has become more competitive than in the '70s and '80s. And this trend will continue into the next century as better positions require more specialized skills. Since the resume is a primary tool in finding a better job, extra time spent on its preparation is a good investment. In fact, some astute people constantly update their resumes, even though they may never use them to get another job. A reminder of your talents and accomplishments, a current resume can provide you with clues to getting a better position within your present company or the ammunition to prove you deserve a salary increase. We believe the best way to explain the new "rules" of resume writing is to explain what you should always do and also what you should never do.
We wish you success
· Always print your resume on standard letter size, white or ivory rag paper.
· Always leave plenty of space between paragraphs, and allow for adequate margins.
· Always use conventional English. Stay away from multi-syllable words when a one- or two-syllable word is clearer.
· Always use short paragraphs — preferably no longer than five lines.
· Always make sure the resume and the cover letter are error-free. Proofread. and have others proofread too.
· Always revise a resume to fit the position for which you are applying. It's extra work, but may very well pay off.
· Always include your significant contributions at each one of your jobs.
· Always allow the most space to the work experience that is most relevant to the position for which you are applying.
· Always list your activities with professional, trade and civic associations — but only if they're appropriate.
· Always keep a permanent file of' your achievements, no matter how inconsequential they may appear to be. This is the basis for a good resume, and it is also essential information to negotiate a raise or promotion.
· Always give each of your references a copy of your resume.
· Always send a brief, customized letter with each resume.
· Always re-read your resume before every interview — chances are the interviewer did just that too.
· Never give reasons for termination or leaving a job on the resume. In almost all cases, the reader can find negative connotations to even the best reason. You're far better off explaining it in person.
· Never take more than two lines to list hobbies, sports and social activities. When in doubt, "leave them out."
· Never state "References Available on Request." It's assumed, and clutters up the resume. Other things to leave out include your social security number, your spouse's occupation and your personal philosophies.
· Never list references on the resume.
· Never use exact dates. Months and years are sufficient.
· Never include your company phone number unless your immediate boss is aware of your departure.
· Never include your height, weight or remarks about your physical appearance or health.
· Never list your high school or grammar school if you're a college graduate.
· Never state your objectives on your resume unless the resume is targeted to that job or occupation.
· Never use professional jargon unless you're sure the resume will be read by someone who understands the buzz words.
· Never use the so-called "action words" like sparked, accelerated and streamlined. They're passe.
· Never provide salary information on the resume. Save it for the interview. If you are required to give that information. reveal it in the cover letter.
· Never lie.