Tips for Writing a Great Resume

StaceyA resume is an essential part of getting your foot in the door of that dream job. A good resume helps set you apart from all the other applicants. Not only should your resume have the right characteristics and information, but it is also your first impression on the reader, so make it a good one! Whether you are looking to make a career change or a young person new to the job market, here are some tips for what a great resume should consist of:

1.      Build a great resume:

a)      Be clean, clear, and concise.

b)      Put enough down to gain interest, but keep details clean and to the point.

c)      Make sure everything is spelled and grammatically correct.

d)     Remember, details are for the interview – you can explain more about a certain job or award and give details.

2.      Can it be over one page?

a)      Yes – It could be more than one page, however, make sure to print on the front and back in that case (try to keep it as close to one page as possible).

b)      References should always be listed on a separate page

c)      Most employers are more concerned about the content and consistency of design rather than number of pages.

3.      Resume layout:

a)      Any way can work – school first, then job history, then a list of your best attributes/skills and lastly, any volunteer work, professional experience, and awards/recognitions.

b)      Make sure you are consistent with your indents, spacing, design, etc.

c)      Bullet points are a good way to lead the reader’s eye and get more information on the resume while keeping the overall look clean and concise. Use the bullet points to give more detail under your job descriptions/titles.

d)     You can include an objective at the top of the first page to adapt your resume to each position you apply, for example:

–          Objective: to secure an entry-level position in the marketing and communication field with opportunities for wide – ranging experience and professional development.

e)      Be sure the objective is no longer than one sentence and to the point.

4.      How to sell yourself and grab attention:

a)      Descriptive adjectives/verbs. Such as lead, developed, designed, produced, wrote, etc… so they know what you did for a job or project.  

b)      Keep the tense the same throughout the resume (If you use present- keep present tense throughout, even on past jobs.)

c)      Customize your resume to appeal directly to that specific position that you are applying for. Keep in mind, what you can do for the employer and what it is that they are looking for in a person/employee.

d)     It may be useful to have several different resumes each with different information and objectives specific to the position you are applying.

e)      Focus on whatever is strongest and most impressive about yourself and your skills/abilities.

5.      Other suggestions:

a)      Try to stay away from things that could potentially be held against you or turn the employer off such as, political views, religious views – things of a controversial nature.

b)      Use a descending style with the most important information at the beginning

c)      Always be sure that any information you put in your resume can be backed up, keep your claims within your range of integrity and values.

d)     Here are some questions to keep in mind when writing your resume:

–          What are the talents you can bring to the market-place?

–          What can you offer the prospective employer?

–          What things make you stand out?

–          What are your greatest accomplishments?

–          What were the outcome/end results of those accomplishments?

–          What are characteristics you possess that make you a strong candidate? (Things like strong communication skills, ability to juggle multiple projects, hard-working, innovative, creative, ability to set and meet deadlines, etc.)

e)      Lastly, have someone proof read your resume.

There are many to assist you in fine tuning those resume writing skills. These are just a few to get you started on your way to a great resume!

Best wishes on your search for that dream job.

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