Tag Archives: resume writing

THE GOAL OF YOUR RESUME

Your resume is a marketing tool that communicates all about YOU.  When it works, you win an interview!  Is your resume working for you?  Your resume doesn’t simply provide a prospective employer with your professional work history.  It speaks that you have the qualifications needed to be a complete success in the new position and career!

Your resume will and should ATTRACT the immediate attention of the hiring manager.  The reader will want to pick it up and read it top to bottom.  Their peeked interest should be stimulated and in the end, an interview will be given!

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Your resume should include:

  • Your contact information, such as; name, address, phone, email address and LinkedIn profile link
  • Career Summary
  • Professional Work History
  • Educational Background
  • Affiliations
  • Certifications
  • Awards

RESUME APPEARANCE IS IMPERATIVE

A hiring manager may have hundreds of dull and boring resumes to sift through.  Having said that, when something catches their eye, it must really pop out at them!  Your resume should impress within the first 5 to 8 seconds or it will not impress at all!  Employers almost always quickly scan all resumes and then grab for those that catch their eye the best.

You want to write a really effective and visually appealing resume.  When you do so, you will use powerful statements that will impress.  This is very important, and yet you don’t want to oversell!  There is a very fine line here and you will learn all about it.  Above all, you will make honest statements about yourself.  They will be strong statements and 100% true, or they will not be effective at all.

HOW TO IMPRESS THE EMPLOYER

First off, who do you think you are writing this resume for?  Your prospective employer will be the one who oversees the day to day operations of the company you want to join. They are the ones who make the hiring decisions and they are entirely invested in ensuring that you are the right one for the job.  This person will care about whether or not you can do a great job for that organization and so this is the one you are writing your resume for!

You want to make certain you’re the right candidate for the position.  You want to be sure you know everything there is to know about this company.  You want to understand exactly, which qualities are needed to be the right candidate for the job.  But above all, you want to be sure you are not a good candidate for this position, but rather you are the BEST candidate for the job!

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GET IT WRITE

This is the time to put pen to paper and to lay out clearly what your prospective employer is looking for in an ideal candidate.  You should be able to solidify what it is that you bring to the table, even before you begin.  Write down every fine point about your career training and experiences, your unique distinctiveness, special talents, even your attitude.  What exactly is it that shows you’re most qualified for the position you’re seeking?

You will soon start to be able to connect the dots during this process.  Simple and straightforward statements will turn into sentences and sentences will turn into paragraphs.  Keep this information in a safe place.  You will use it later to be incorporated into your finished product.

ELEMENTS OF A RESUME THAT WILL IMPRESS

The trick to an ideal resume contains powerful and assertive statements about your talents, characteristics and accomplishments.  No need to be shy.  You are going for the gold so sell yourself with all that is in you!

The next ingredient of a perfect resume will show “you know your stuff” and know it well!  This will be proven by education, experience, work history and any other relevant affiliations that shows the prospective employer that you are a person of substance and not only of design.  Keep in mind that the more standard resume will simply be a chronological account of a very boring life and most people will not give it a second glance.  Write your resume to be interesting and even impressive and watch as your phone rings for that important interview!

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You should write a resume that does much more than just inform; you will write a resume that compels to action!  Your resume will become as a good bargaining tool! Your prospective employer will be interested and will stand up and take notice, and this is exactly what you want!  Ensure you’re bold about your assertive statements, but not too bold.  Leave them wanting for more.  Tease a bit with nuggets of information and let them be interested to know more.  Just as you would sell any product that you believe strongly in, you will learn to sell the product that is you! Once you have learned to do this, you will find that you will get a better response from a prospective employer than other prospects do and even those with better credentials.  It is all in how you market your product, YOU!

If you still have any questions regarding the resume process feel free to drop us a line! We’d love to hear from you!

Dannielle Ramos Rash is an Army Veteran and Founder of First Class Resumes & Career Services. http://www.first-classresumes.com/  She is a Certified Federal Job Search Trainer (CFJST), Certified Federal Career Coach (CFCC), Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. Dannielle provides dynamic resumes & career documents for job seekers around the globe.

How to write a Summary of Qualifications for your Resume

A summary of qualifications needs to establish a strong focus and bring interest.  It should not be wordy or have an overly descriptive passage.  On the other hand, a summary should not be full of soft skills.  What the summary should give is the main points of information pertained to the candidate.  These main points are ~ job title, experience, industry and expertise.  The summary of qualifications section of the resume is the most important part, because it gets read the most and sets the tone for the rest of the document. 

The summary may be the only piece of your resume that is fully read by the hiring manager.  This is why it’s very important to be convincing and strong. This section of the resume is where you may include characteristics which will be helpful in winning you an actual interview.

The summary is the most difficult to write and one needs to ensure its targeted and compelling to the reader.  You could think of it as an “elevator pitch”.  What is that?  If you were in an elevator with a potential employer, and you want them to hire you, you would quickly deliver your elevator pitch to convince them to hire you.

When you start the process of writing your summary, ask yourself some of these questions.  How many years of career experience do you have and in what field?  What specific work shills do you have? Ensure you pick and choose what pertains to your particular situation.  If you are a recent college grad, you may not have a lot of career experience.  If this is the case, emphasize your skills and abilities you learned while in college.

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Start your summary with a short phrase to describe your profession and your work related skills. Give a synopsis of your career experience and some personal qualities that will ensure you’re an outstanding candidate for the position. When you take your time to create and write your summary well, hiring managers will want to read the rest of your career document.  Have a buddy read over your summary and make suggestions.

The purpose of the Summary of Qualifications is so that it spotlights your most career highlights and relevant skills and experience. The key thing is for your summary to give a quick overview of the value you will bring to a potential employer.

You may ask yourself, why you need a summary.  Since employers receive hundreds of resumes for each job opening, they tend to look at resumes for no more than 10 seconds.  If you take the time to write a compelling summary of qualifications, your resume will have a better chance of landing in the Yes pile.

Just keep in mind the summary of qualifications portion of your resume contains brief statements to describe why you’re the best candidate for the position.  Don’t forget to showcase and tell why you stand out from the others!

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How to Set Up Your Résumé

It’s important to set up your resume and format your text and font correctly.  Your font selection won’t make or break your resume.  However, a good font can indeed help your resume look professional and clean overall.

Having a clean overall format with enough spacing between sections is imperative in resume writing. Don’t try to place as much content as you can on your resume. Often times I have seen them stuffed with as much content as humanly possible.  When it comes to one’s career documents sometimes less is better!

There is a bit of leeway when choosing your font. Assuming everything else checks with your overall career background, experience and education, a pleasant looking font certainly can’t hurt.  Helvetica is a nice clean font that’s easy on the reader’s eyes. I haven’t come across too many resumes that use it.  There are other fonts that would work nicely as well.  Book Antiqua and Calibri are great ones to try out and there is nothing wrong with Times New Roman.

Make sure you place the proper size of the font, regardless of which one you choose.  I would not suggest any smaller than 10.5 font. I’d be would not recommend going any smaller than that.  You don’t want to over stuff the resume with extra words so you will be forced to make the font smaller.

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You can utilize different fonts for several parts of your career documents, but limit it to two different fonts.  Utilize the bold and italicized feature instead of shifting between the fonts.  Your header font should be a size larger, but otherwise you shouldn’t use a huge font.  When typing your resume, your text should always be in showed in black.  Many times job seekers leave the hyperlinks to their email in blue.  Just make sure you leave it a solid black color.

Your header should be centered at the top of your page and your resume should be aligned to the left margin.  When you are setting up your page it should have one inch margins with two point line spacing. When you are creating your heading ensure this section includes your contact information to include your name, address, phone number and email.

There are three main formats for creating a resume.  Depending on your career background and the type of position your targeting will determine the type of format you should utilize.

Chronological resumes are used for presenting a steady growth in a specific career sector. These formats are best when used for a job seeker applying to a position in their career field and showing increased responsibility.

Functional resumes are always focused on skills rather than work history.  These types of resumes are best used for people who have gaps in their work history.

The third resume type is a Combination resume and is basically a combination of both a chronological and functional resume.  If you have grown a particular skill set from working in a range of fields, then this is the best format for you to use.

If this is a chronological resume, your positions should be listed in a chronological format and listing your recent position first.   Ensure you include the name of the organization, its location, your job title and your duties while working there, accomplishments and the dates you were employed there. In order to showcase your position in each job, list your title first.  At any rate, be consistent in listing your job positions. Ensure you write a major career highlight with a concise description of what your accomplishment was in the position.

Next you will provide your education history.  Just like your jobs, you should list all of your education in a chronological order.  List all your college degrees or trade schools you may have completed.  If you graduated and have a degree, ensure you list the year, type and name of the degree you earned.  If you haven’t graduated yet, purely state the program and the expected graduation date.

After you’ve listed the most important information such as your career background and education, you can then list the other important fields.  Construct a section title “Skills” with a list of important special skills you may possess.

Maybe you’re bilingual and speak more than one language, place those languages here. Also make sure to note if you have an intermediate or advanced level of knowledge. Maybe you’re well versed in a particular area of work that other job seekers may not be, list it here.

This is just a general overview of how to set up your resume.  I will go in more depth at a later date on each section and how to set it up.