How to Write an Effective, Powerful Resume
An effective, powerful resume is an advertisement for you. It tells the employer what you can do for them and proves you’re the best person for the job. If your resume is strong, it will get you interviews and put you on the fast track to the job you want.
An employer decides in less than a minute whether to read your resume or put it aside. You can be one of over 100 applicants, so your resume must be short (no more than two pages), sweet and to the point. It must make a powerful impact immediately, otherwise you’ll be knocked out by the competition.
An employer has many questions on their mind: Who are you? Can you do the job? Will you get along with my staff? Can I trust you? Your resume must answer these questions.
Contact Information. The header of your resume includes your name, phone number (home and/or cell), email and social network address like LinkedIn or Twitter.
Objective. Some experts say you don’t need an objective; however, it can be useful if you just finished school because it tells the employer exactly what you want. Your objective can be one or two lines and can say something like, “Seeking a challenging opportunity where I can use my skills to contribute to the organization’s success.”
Professional Profile. Here is where you really get to sell yourself and show off all your key strengths, but be careful not to come across as arrogant. You tell the employer what makes you different to anyone else – known in the world of advertising as your Unique Selling Proposition, or USP. It explains why you’re the best person for the job using adjectives like “reliable”, “punctual” and “positive”.
Skills. An employer must know if you can do the job. List your skills as nouns and organize them in groups like Technical, Administrative or Research. Mention any foreign languages you speak since that is an asset in today’s workplace.
Work Experience. Start with your most recent job first then work backward. Include the employer’s name, city and province, job title and employment dates. Use short bulleted points to explain what you did, beginning with powerful action verbs such as “organized”, “planned” and “developed”. Rather than listing only job duties, explain how you benefitted your last employer so the potential employer can understand how you would help them. For example, instead of saying “Handled phone inquiries”, it’s better to say “Handled telephone inquiries in a professional, friendly manner to ensure customers were highly satisfied.”
Education. List your most recent education first then work backward. Include your degree, school name and graduation year. Include your GPA only if it’s 3.0 or higher. If you have less than three years of work experience, your education is your strongest point so list it before your work experience. Include your high school if you haven’t yet started university or college.
Personal Interests. You can include hobbies but don’t mention partying or socializing because this will send a negative message to the employer.
References. Some experts say you don’t need this section. If you need to fill empty space on the last page, say “References available upon request.”
If you remember these simple points, you’ll write an effective, powerful resume and get the job you want.