Find Employment/About Resumes

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About Resumes[edit]

In your lifetime, you will be preparing many resumes of many types: education, job, true-love, health-treatment, legal-justifications, financial justifications, and others. So start with your MASTER RESUME. Then you can use to then cut-and-paste all the later needs for your immediate resume.

If you ever need to use your life experiences for the human service industries, it might be worthwhile recording dates & places of any human-type activities: friends, clubs, etc. At a very serious job interview (the last of several for an important application, you can use a copy of this "Master" to illustrate or support the statements made in writing or spoken in any interview.

Resumes are usually just advertisements, that are supposed to sell your most valuable product: you. Resumes should be truthful, but they do not (and should not) be complete descriptions of you, your past, and your skills. Specifically, modern guidelines state that a resume should be 1 page long, no more, and generally no less. The resume should be specifically tailored to the job for which you are applying.

Résumés and application forms[edit]

Résumés and application forms are two ways to provide employers with written evidence of your qualifications and skills. Generally, the same information appears on both the résumé and the application form, but the way in which it is presented differs. Some employers prefer a résumé and others require an application form. The accompanying box presents the basic information you should include in your résumé.

There are many ways of organizing a résumé; choose the format that best showcases your skills and experience. It may be helpful to look for examples on the Internet or in books at your local library or bookstore. Typically, an employer has a very limited amount of time to review your résumé. It is important to make sure it is clear and concise, and highlights your skills and experiences effectively through the use of formatting, ordering, and headings.

Many employers scan résumés into databases, which they then search for specific keywords or phrases. The keywords are usually nouns referring to experience, education, personal characteristics, or industry buzz words. Identify keywords by reading the job description and qualifications; use the same words in your résumé that are used in the job ad. For example, if the job description includes customer service tasks, use the words "customer service" on your résumé. Scanners sometimes misread paper résumés, which could mean some of your keywords don't get into the database. So, if you know that your résumé will be scanned, and you have the option, e-mail an electronic version. If you must submit a paper résumé, make it scannable by using a simple font and avoiding underlines, italics, and graphics. It is also a good idea to send a traditionally formatted résumé along with your scannable résumé, with a note on each marking its purpose.

When you fill out an application form, make sure you fill it out completely and follow all instructions. Do not omit any requested information and make sure that the information you provide is correct.

Writing the Resume[edit]

Writing a résumé can often be a strenuous task because it is this piece of paper alone which will separate yourself from hundreds, if not thousands of other applicants.

When writing a résumé, one must be careful to make theirs stand out so that the prospective employer does not just throw it in a pile. A résumé should contain your name, previous employment history, skills, accomplishments and goals you wish to achieve in your life.

Avoid the use of prose when describing what you have accomplished in your current or previous jobs. Bullets are definitely your friend when it comes to sharing you accomplishments. Start each bullet point with a good, strong verb. If you have data to share, such as an increase in sales, a savings of money, or something similar, be sure to include this information. For example: Developed new training protocols resulting in a savings of $10,000 a year for the company.

Warning[edit]

Studies have shown that employers often do not read entire résumés, but quickly scan through them. You have approximately 30-45 seconds to make an impression on a prospective employer - to make him or her want to read your résumé more closely. Therefore, you must make your résumé stand out from the rest. Think of a résumé as a marketing tool, and what you are selling is yourself. With this in mind, one must learn some basic marketing skills which will help produce leads (job interviews). In order to produce a good result, if done correctly, one will not have to be dishonest in his or her résumé, and often, being dishonest can later be a drawback for future promotions or possibly be grounds for termination.

Focus[edit]

When writing your résumé, you must focus on the needs of your prospective employer, not yours. When selling yourself, you need to make yourself sound like a good buy and you need to present yourself as one who would benefit the company in the long-term. Now put yourself in the employer's shoes: what would make you want to hire a prospective candidate? What does the corporation really need? What would set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd? If you are looking for a job in an area that you are familiar with, you will probably know what employers in your field are already looking for. If you are unsure, you can find out from the tone of the help-wanted ad and by talking to people in the area that you wish to work in. Do not be afraid to call the employer and ask him or her what they are looking for in a candidate. This itself would show initiative on your part, and probably keep the employer thinking about you. It can also be a good idea to ask a prospective employer for a copy of the position description. By reviewing this document, you can tailor your resume to highlight how you can meet the needs of the company.