Resume Writing Tips
by OMG at Work
In today’s economy, the competition for employment is high. Therefore, your ability to present yourself and make a good first impression through a resume is absolutely crucial. Writing a resume may seem like a daunting task, however it does not have to be a tedious process. Your resume really only has one goal: to attract the interest of a prospective employer. A resume is not an autobiography, nor does it need to answer every question a company may have about you. Sell yourself in a concise, yet thought out manner with these tips on how to make a good resume.
Make Your Resume Your Own
There are many different templates and good resume examples, so be sure to look at a few. After getting a feel of how to format a resume, make it your own. There is no need to copy and paste and just fill in your information. Create a resume format that suits you. The important thing is that it makes you stand out as an individual.
What A Resume And Portfolio Should Contain
Many employers will ask for a cover letter, but even if not, it is better to err on the side of caution and write one regardless. As with a resume, there is no one set style or format. The main thing to remember is that this is an actual letter to the employer. Once again, look at some samples and find a style that suits you.
As for the content itself, you generally want to:
- introduce yourself and identify the position for which you are applying
- highlight your experience that makes you a good fit for the position
- thank the employer for taking the time to consider you. It may seem odd at first to be writing a sort of thank you letter before you have even been offered anything, but remember you are selling yourself. Everyone prefers a polite worker.
Once you have completed the cover letter, it is time to get to work on the resume itself. Begin looking at the requirements for jobs in which you are interested. This will give you an idea of what companies are looking for and help you know what experiences to highlight.
When adding your work experience, be sure to include as much relevant information as possible. The general rule of thumb is to go from most current and work your way back. Be sure to include all pertinent experience, regardless of the time frame. Volunteer work and unpaid internships should also be included. Some may think of these as less than jobs since they are not paid, but most employers will appreciate the work ethic.
Some particular jobs may also require a portfolio (eg: graphic design, music composition, etc.). Find out exactly what form the portfolio should take and then include your best work. As with the rest of your resume, this is something you should take pride in. This will be all that the employer knows of you so you want to make sure you are including your best work.
Education and Certifications
Highlight your education and highest degree attained. In addition, include awards, certificates and other degrees. Even if they do not directly relate to the field to which you are applying, it will still show your potential employer that you are a well rounded and accomplished professional.
Hobbies and Interests
With regard to hobbies and interests, it is best to include only those which pertain to the job for which you are applying. It is otherwise fluff to what should be a concise outline of yourself. For example, if you are applying to be a music teacher, it would certainly be wise to include your music playing experience. However, a job in financing may be less interested in your musical talent. The opportunity to talk about your personal interest may well come up during an interview, but do your best to be selective when including it in your resume.
When describing your work and accomplishments, avoid using similar words or phrases repeatedly. Remember an actual person with a finite attention span will be reading your resume.
Some terms to keep in mind: achieved, attained, completed, accomplished, demonstrated, made or created, delivered, expanded, improved, enhanced, expanded, managed, increased, performed, obtained, secured, produced, surpassed, and succeeded.
Synonyms are your friends.
Review Your Resume with Others
Be sure to look over your resume once it is complete. It would not hurt to have others look it over as well. A potentially destructive yet easily avoidable mistake is to have spelling or grammar mistakes. Ensure that everything flows naturally and that the overall look is pleasing. Once again, remember that it is a person who will be looking at your resume and so subjectivity will play a role. If the person reading it loses interest, your experience and degrees will not matter.
Submit With Confidence
A good resume is essential to getting you noticed by a potential employer. While a resume need not be a difficult process, do not rush through it. Only send it out once it is something you can be proud of. It is your working self represented on paper.
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