There are 7 vital tips on writing a resume you should follow if you do not want to give your competition a decided edge. If you do these things, not only will you prepare a professional resume that’s sure to grab the attention of a perspective employer, but you will also be more prepared to handle the job interview that’s sure to follow.
Resume Writing Tip #1
Start by taking stock in yourself. Identify past successes, current strengths, your overall working style, and personal preferences. Your goal should not be to just find any old job, but a work environment that matches your skills and your preferred working style.
For instance, while you may find a job that matches your skills, the work environment may not match your needs. The work environment may be self-directed when you prefer clear instructions; or the work environment may be too slow-paced; or the employer may have an extremely high turn-over rate. These are all things you want to know about so you can save yourself potential grief.
Additionally, your job search may provide the perfect opportunity to branch out into new lines of work that better mirror your strengths and skills.
Resume Writing Tip #2
Categorize your skills, education, accomplishments. training, experience, etc… You can do this by using a piece of paper or word processing software. Simply type a subheading such as work experience and start listing your previous employers and employment dates. Why is it suggested you perform this exercise? Because depending on the job you seek, this exercise will help you decide the best resume format to use. To assist you – you will find easy-to-following criteria to decide if the chronological resume format or the functional resume format works best for your situation.
Tips on Writing a Resume Tip #3
Decide on your resume format and create an outline of each section. For your convenience, attached are blank outlines for both the functional and chronological resume formats.
Resume Writing Tip #4
Review the job posting carefully. Other than the resume heading, work experience, and education sections, do not fill in the career/job objective statement or the accomplishments section until you have reviewed the job description and responsibilities carefully. You want to make sure you match your skills and experience to the employer’s needs.
Resume Writing Tip #5
Research the employer. Take advantage of the Internet. Google the employer and find out any and all information about the company. Read the company’s mission statement and values. Go to the Better Business Bureau and see if there are complaints.
Why do you want to do this? Because the more you can find out about the employer the better you can prepare the best possible resume to land the job interview. More importantly, you can learn if the job you are seeking is with a company you can be comfortable working for.
Resume Writing Tip #6
Proofread, proofread, proofread. You cannot afford mistakes. A simply spelling or grammar error may be all it takes to get you eliminated from consideration. So make sure your resume is a clear representation of you. After all, it’s the first impression this potential employer will have of you.
Resume Writing Tip #7
One of the best tips on professional resume writing is to understand that the resume you are writing is a marketing tool advertising to a potential employer why you are the best person for the job you seek. Therefore, do not take your efforts lightly. Your resume will provide you with one chance to interest the employer so take advantage. Take your time. Do it right.
The resume writing tips will help to maximize any software’s ability to scan your resume accurately. Whether you realize it or not, many companies now use applicant tracking software to manage resumes and other documents related to interviewing. Besides, even if you submit to a company who does not use this technology yet, it’s good practice to use standard formatting to avoid unnecessary pitfalls that can hurt your resume from being reviewed.
- Make sure your resume document settings are 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper, sent on one side printing only. If you decide to print your resume then choose white, pale ivory, or pale gray quality stock paper.
- If you print your resume to paper the contrast between the type and the background must be clear. Avoid paper which is textured, flecked, or pastel colors.
- When printing your resume to paper be sure to use a laser printer and black ink. An inject printer should produce an acceptable copy as well. Importantly, the printer/scanner needs crisp, high contrast type.
- Use standard typefaces such as Helvetica, Arial, Times, and Times Roman. Letters and numbers must not touch or run into each other. Why? Because if a company tries to scan your resume, it will be difficult or impossible for the scanner to read the characters accurately.
- Use font sizes of 10 – 12 points for text and 11 – 14 points for headings.
- Use boldface and/or all capital letters for section headings. Do not use italics (where letters sometimes touch each other), underlining, shadows, reverse type (white letters on black background).
- Do not use boxes or columns.