Friday, November 21, 2008

Building Your Resume: The First Step to Getting a Job

Upon hitting the “real world” you are likely to realize you need a job. In order to get one of these, you need to present potential employers with a quality resume. A lot of pressure is put on this document as it is the first thing a recruiter looks at, and ultimately determines if you even make it to the interview phase. Creating a quality resume is not difficult. However, many people end up making careless mistakes that ultimately cost them a great job.

Here are some tips to help you create a glowing resume:

Choosing a Format:

Deciding on a template for your resume is the first step to success. Great resumes need to be clear, direct, and organized. They need to be divided into sub-sections tailored to your credentials and the job for which you are applying. For example, if you are applying to be a teacher, a section on “Student Teaching Experience” would be necessary. Meanwhile, a resume for a fitness trainer might benefit from a section on “Certifications.” Additionally, an employer wants to quickly be able to sift through your credentials without being bogged down by fancy graphics or scripted fonts. So, as a general rule of thumb, keep it simple!

If you need some help picking your format, check out the sample resumes offered at This site is full of great templates to suit any position.

Customize Your Objective:

For most people, the first item on their resume (other than contact info) is the “Job Objective.” Do not just use a generic statement like “To find quality employment” or “To further my life experiences.” Instead, look closely at a job’s description and match your objective to fit. If a job promises prolific interaction with clients say something like “To find a position that utilizes my interpersonal skills through regular interaction with industry clients.” Furthermore, you always want to keep your objective short. A single sentence is all it takes to make your point without seeming superficial.

Add Appropriate Information:

Sure, you may want to add every award, job, or volunteer experience you ever had, but employers only really care about the experiences that make you a suitable candidate for their position. So, make it a point to streamline your resume and highlight your most significant achievements. Additionally, aside from your education credentials, you should limit your information to things that happened within the last several years. For young professionals, this means nothing prior to your college experiences should be included. Experienced job seekers may want to go back further, though, with experiences encompassing the last ten to fifteen years.

Make Yourself Shine:

Don’t just list dates and places on your resume! You need to show an employer how skilled you are by detailing specific experiences you have had. For each item on your resume, add a brief summary of major projects, important duties, and general achievements. If you helped solve a major problem or improved upon an existing procedure, make sure you note it. Employers love to see candidates with a history of taking initiative. Also, if you have won an award, include a brief statement of how you won this recognition.

Important Notes:

· Make sure your contact information is clearly written at the top of your resume.

· Work experience is not the only relevant information. Volunteering, participating in a non-profit organization, etc. are applicable for a resume.

· Include relevant experience with languages – knowing more than one is a great resume boost!

· You don’t need to include exact dates of employment. A month and year is more than sufficient.

· Do not lie or exaggerate on your resume! The employer will eventually find out, and it can have major repercussions.

No comments:

Post a Comment