Dressing Up Your Resume: Knowing the Essentials
Job hunting is a grueling process so you would like to have the right tools to make it a less grueling task, and the best way to do that is to have a well-written resume. A resume reflects what you have to offer, and if it does not succeed in doing that, it will end up in the bin (harsh, I know).
As such, Think of preparing a resume to dressing up for the job interview itself: Wear your best suit or dress, your best hairstyle, your best pair of shoes, and your best accessories. Below is a short guide on how your resume should be dressed for success:
If you are meeting a friend you have not seen for a long time at an unfamiliar restaurant or café, the first thing you do is research for directions to get there. If you don’t, you might end up at the wrong place; this applies when you are preparing your resume. . The objective should clearly state to the Hiring Manager or Recruiter what position or job title you are applying to. Otherwise, you will end up going through the application process for a job you are not interested in or might not like at all. Or because your objective is unclear, the recruiter may pass on your resume altogether.
As such, when writing your objective, keep in mind the position you are aiming for, the key skills that make you qualified for the position, and the benefits or values that you bring to the table. If you are an aspiring digital marketing freelance writer, for example, a good objective is “Well-versed digital marketing specialist who aims to be part of an online marketing team to craft strategic copies and campaigns which focus on brand establishment and loyalty.”
We all want to put our best foot forward in a resume, but you do not want to give away too much information that will give your readers a difficult time. Thus, instead of listing down all your qualifications, be sure to condense them coherently so it is readily apparent what you can offerthe company.
To summarize your qualifications, the key points to include are: Title, core competencies, industry, length of experience, strengths, combination of accomplishment highlights, and academic experience. You can also mention language skills, technical skills, and personal profile. Some examples are:
- Self-motivated and customer service-focused supervisor with two years of experience in retail and customer service industries providing exceptional frontline assistance.
- Demonstrates outstanding time management skills and prioritization skills.
- A Journalism graduate at Ryerson University who is a well-articulate communicator fluent in English and French and proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, Customer Relationship Management systems, and Sales Force.
When noting your professional experience, conciseness is key since you would not want too many details which might make your resume longer than necessary. To start on a good note, remember this simple format: company name, city and state, month and year of employment, and position title.
A rather easy part of putting your professional experience on paper is that you do not necessarily have to be creative as the primary focus is to list your job descriptions. You can refer to your contract. If that is not available, you can refer to internet postings or detailed classified ads in newspapers. Do not merely copy or paste, though. You have to relay how you performed on those respective responsibilities. Highlight your accomplishments and provide statistics when you can. For example, we all know what a customer service representative does, but what made you different from the rest? Write “Achieved 95% quality score in the first year” or “Increased sales performance for the campaign by 5% in the first quarter.”
As high school or college or university graduates, you are not expected to have a lot of information under educational attainment like an MBA or Ph.D. as compared to those who have been working for several years. However, realize that job search is truly competitive and you would like to stand out from the rest by highlighting your skills as a student.
So apart from noting down your degree or coursework, you can also mention your extra-curricular activities like sports or participation in the school newspaper. You can also mention your leadership skills and say you were elected as Treasurer in Senior Year or you represented your class in school board meetings.
Readying a resume is overwhelming for newcomers and old-timers to the job search process. However, once you take note of those essentials above, you can get the hang of it and you will have your resume all dressed up to get the job.
Resume Magic – Trade Secrets of a Professional Resume Writer by Susan Britton Whitcomb (Book)