10 Ways of Writing an Effective Resume
An effective resume is hard to build mainly because there are so many things to consider. When things are that complex we often find ourselves being deterred from sitting down and writing (or re-writing) our resume. Here is our Top 10 for Writing an Effective Resume.
Effective Resume Top 10
Choose The Right Format
The most popular resume format tends to be chronological. However, people can take advantage of other formats. Consider a Functional Resume if you have more skills to highlight than work experience. If you have both experience and a boatload of skills, consider the Combination Resume to show off how your skills created areas of achievement during your work experiences. An effective resume starts with the right format for the right person.
This aspect of an effective resume is often overlooked. Some would even go as far as to say that the design doesn’t matter because all the employer wants to know is the information on the resume. To those people I say this: “Out of the hundred or so resume’s an employer receives per position, what makes you think he chooses and reads them all? If he doesn’t as is more than likely the case considering companies use ATS (Application Tracking Systems) to weed out resumes without enough matching criteria, what would be one of the best ways to stand out early?” Find a way to make your resume different while still being professional and you will earn a callback.
Design was the perfect Segway into this next point. Don’t get too carried away with design and pick a font that sets an unprofessional tone. Remember in reason 9 the words, “…different while still being professional,” were used. Part of being professional is choosing a font that is easy to read. Cambria, Arial or Times New Roman are great choices. Font size should be somewhere between 10-12 pts and be sure to make good use of Bold, Italics and Underline.
Know Your Strengths
Now that we have the mechanics of an effective resume out of the way we can discuss the meat of the resume that is, The Content. The trick to a good resume is to highlight your strengths while masking your weaknesses. Are you an auto-mechanic with over ten years of experience? That is a strength. Were you a personal accountant to a celebrity or V.I.P.? That is a strength. Between your skills and your work experience, you need to decide which has more strength. Then you need to cleverly put these strengths on display using simple yet powerful words to describe what you did and how you did it.
Know Your Weaknesses
Just as important, you need to know your weaknesses and here is why. As you are filling out your resume, you may find a need to put a previous work experience that was short lived over another job that lasted longer. If one pertains more to the job you are applying for this can be a tough decision to make. Are there certain skills the job requires that you feel you can learn fast? You may have to consider leaving certain things out or writing your resume in a way that says you can do these things without having done them for work before.
Know The Field
Every field of business has it’s set of expectations. Customer Service requires patience, understanding and excellent speaking. These words would stand out on your resume. The Restaurant Business requires urgency and awareness in a fast-paced environment all while handling people’s food. The medical industry isn’t just about helping people during their ailments but, there are lot’s of documents that need to be filed and data that needs to be entered. Finding a way to show that you know what is expected on multiple sides of the fence can be very valuable. An effective resume using work experience to show that you can hit the ground running and employers love jacks-of-all-trades.
Know The Company
What can you include in your resume that would be a good fit for the company? Ask yourself that. Are you applying for a job that is known for its signature Ice Cream Sundaes after dinner? Maybe you should include skills or work experience that shows you can handle that. When you go into an interview, if you can mention something that shows you researched the company, the interviewer will remember you.
Keywords are so important. This goes especially for online applicants. When you apply online there are programs that actually sift through resumes looking for specific words and phrases. Resumes that don’t have enough of these are thrown out while those who write their resumes with this in mind go on to the next round. It sounds simple enough but these programs are becoming more and more intelligent in helping employers find candidates who fit the position perfectly. In other words, you have to impress a computer before having to impress a person. That’s why keywords are important.
What’s your online presence like online? Everyone should be considering this today. We live in a digital age where everything can be found online. Can you be found online? If so, what would your potential employer say? Make sure you clean up your online presence before doing this. Once you are comfortable with it start creating an online presence. Take photos and videos of your work and post it on a LinkedIn Profile. Open up a website with a clever domain and show off your work related talents and passions. If you can provide links to these things on your resume, you are sure to impress.
You did it! You completed your resume! That blank white page is full of content and now you can get out there and start applying right? If you didn’t read your resume and check it for errors, you are wrong. So many people miss out on good opportunities because they are handing out resumes with simple punctuation and grammar issues. At least have someone else look over your resume before you start handing it out.
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