Guide to Effective Resume Writing
Your resume is the document that opens the doors of opportunity in your professional life. When you resume works, you work and when it doesn't you don't, put quite simply: your resume is the most financially important document you will ever own.
Show me a stalled job hunt and one of the major causes will invariably be a resume that is inappropriate for it's task.
- Is your resume a general recitation of everything you have done to maximize opportunities?
- Is your resume focused on the next rung up your promotional ladder?
- Is your resume based on your potential rather than your credentials?
- Does your resume explain what you want from an employer?
Answer yes to any of these questions, and your resume almost certainly isn't getting you enough interviews. A well-written resume should help you:
- Become discoverable in resume databases from amongst millions of other resumes.
- Demonstrate a deep understanding of the deliverables of your target job.
- Accurately reflect employer priorities and word choice.
- By being data-dense enough to rank in the top twenty in recruiters' database searches.
- Tell a story that clearly qualifies you for the job, ideally within the first half of the first page.
- Create a document that is succinct and visually accessible enough to demonstrate your suitability within the five to ten seconds a recruiter spends on an initial scan.
- Tell what you can do (perhaps you earned the company a million dollars), but no how you did it.
Your resume is a tool to start conversations, not to preclude them. Specifically, the purpose of your resume is to get you into conversation with the people who can hire you. Properly written it demonstrates such a grasp of the job that it gets you the interview and sets the tone of that interview as a meeting between two professionals with a common interest.
Beyond this, a well-written resume works for you after job interviews as well. When the selection committee is making that final decision with nothing but the resumes of the final contenders before them, a professionally constructed resume acts works as your final spokesperson and cheerleader.
Help with Writing Your Resume
- Do You Need a Resume AND a LinkedIn Profile?
Some "experts" are even saying that with a LinkedIn profile you donít even need a resume. Is this true? Simply put, no! Each has a specific and fully differentiated role to play in a maximally effective job search.
- To Change Industries, Make These 5 Resume Tweaks
Every company you approach is engaged in challenges specific to its industry, and when you want to change your industry sector as part of a strategic career move, you and your resume should reflect an understanding of the new target industry's issues and challenges.
- Why 95% of Resumes Are Ignored & What You Can Do About It
95% of resumes today never get read, and the reason is surprising: it's because they are honest recitations of everything the resume writer has done and thinks important. Let's look at why this doesn't work.
- 4 Killer Tactics to Get Your Resume Read
In a competitive job search, the little things can make a big difference, and the way you introduce yourself is one of them. The majority of job search communications are e-mail based, so your e-mail address and subject line are the first things employers see.
- Effective Resume
If your resume has been circulating in the job market for more than a month and you haven't gotten requests for job interviews, the problem could be your resume.
- How to Use Your Resume to Paint the Picture of Your Future
So, before you even start writing your resume, you need to plan what kind of work you want to do next. Then, create a resume that's about your future. Your assignment is to paint a picture of yourself at your next job.
- How to Triple the Value of Your Resume
Think of your resume as a piece of high-end real estate where every pixel counts. You can triple the value of your resume real estate by stating your experience as achievements instead of boring job descriptions. Here's how: In the one or two lines it would take to describe a task you performed, you can talk about an accomplishment that resulted when you performed that task.
- How to Write Your Resume for the Right Audience
Your resume is about your future, not your past. Based on this principle, keep in mind while writing your resume that your audience is the hiring manager for the position mentioned in your job objective statement. Hit the Target. A targeted resume can get you considered by a hiring manager or search committee, while a general resume is apt to get lost in the pile of competing resumes.
- How to Manage Resume Red Flags
Most employers don't like to take hiring risks, especially in today's litigious society where employment laws are loosely interpreted. Any one of the following red flags on a resume spells "risk" for an employer and could cause him or her to toss a resume: gaps in employment, dates that trigger age discrimination, job hopping, and appearing overqualified.
- How to Choose the Best Format for Your Resume
Chronological? Functional? Combination? What difference does it make which format you use for your resume? It's all about timing. With the right format, you can grab an employer's interest during his or her initial eight-second scan of your resume.
- How to Create an Achievement Resume
Sometimes saying less is better than saying more. Frequently a few strong accomplishments can generate more questions and interest than a page full of details. The achievement resume incorporates this concept by focusing on brevity and simplicity.
- Master Resume for Your LinkedIn Profile
Do you have the strongest LinkedIn Profile possible? Does it showcase all your professional qualifications and attract exciting career opportunities? Here's a technique that will help: write a "master resume" that you can copy and paste into your LinkedIn profile. The master resume may also serve as a source when you are customizing resumes for specific opportunities.
- Convert Your Master Resume into a LinkedIn Profile
Your LinkedIn profile is one of your most valuable career-building tools. It serves as your online resume on one of the most popular recruiting web sites on the Internet: LinkedIn.com. Every day, recruiters and employers search LinkedIn profiles to find job candidates. So creating a good profile is key to being found for your next career opportunity.
- Resume: "Average Joe" Job Seeker
Eduardo Hortiz (not his real name) is a "regular guy" who wants a non-management job in customer service. He's been a customer service rep for more than 20 years and he has no plans to move out of his chosen field or up the ladder into management.
Entering or Re-Entering the Workforce:
- Resume: Mom Returning to Work w/Career Change
LaDonna Davis (not her real name) always thought she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. After she graduated college with a BA in Education, she got a job as a preschool teacher. Then, she had a child, dropped out of the workforce for five years, and changed her career goal.
- Resume: Very Untraditional Career
Jared Burke (not his real name) is a marketing professional in the construction industry. From his resume, you would think it was his life-long goal to do this work. But Jared's career path wasn't a straight line – it's had some remarkable zigs and zags along the way. He just didn't write about those zig-zags when he put together his resume.
- Resume: College Student
Loretta Perkins (not her real name) is a community college student who is on course to graduate with an Associate's degree in Business Administration in May 2012. To help pay her college tuition she has a part-time sales job at a furniture store. Sadly, her employer is going out of business next month so Loretta is looking for a new job in sales.
- Resume: New Grad
When Joyce Favor (not her real name) entered college, she knew she wanted to get a degree in business but wasn't sure what area of business. In addition to getting counseling from her academic advisor and at the school's career center, she decided to get some real-world experience to help her figure things out.
Unemployed Job Seekers:
- Resume: Older, Laid-Off Job Seeker
James Z. Carpenter (not his real name) has had a very successful career as a Public Relations Professional. When he wrote this resume in early 2011, he faced three problems, described below, each of which he resolved in his resume.
- Resume: Laid-Off Project Manager
This chronological resume for Kenneth Baker (not his real name) emphasizes a very steady career progression, and de-emphasizes a recent layoff.
- Resume: Just Fired
Brent Castleton (not his real name) just got fired. He had never before been fired from a job, and, at first, he was in a state of shock and his pride was badly wounded. Then, he realized he could turn his job termination into an opportunity to make a career change.
- Resume: Unemployed Job Seeker with a Chronic Illness
Sandi Peterson (not her real name) is an Internet Marketing Professional looking for a job in online marketing management. While browsing a company website she found a job post that seems a perfect fit for her.
- Resume: Older Job Seeker Looks Younger
This chronological resume is for George Benicio (not his real name), a 53-year-old job seeker who wants to continue his career as a corporate trainer. How old does he look to you, based on this resume?
- Resume: Handling Employment Gaps
Chin Lee (not her real name) is a human resources specialist who has an employment gap in her resume. See if you can figure out where it is...
- Resume: Extreme Career Change
Jared Burke (not his real name) wrote this resume in 1999 to get a job as an office assistant in a small business in his home state of New York. Here's what makes his resume so interesting: it needed to present Jared's previous seven years when he lived in a spiritual community in India focusing on prayer and meditation. It's fair to say, Jared was making an extreme career change.
- Resume: Highlighting Education on a Resume
Because his education is an important aspect of his appeal as a consultant, this sample resume for Frank Ford (not his real name) highlights a strong employment history as a Senior Management Consultant.
- Resume: Non-Profit Executive with No Degree
This chronological resume is for Eunice Graves (not her real name), a job seeker who wants to continue her career advancement to a position as director of a non-profit organization. She is highly qualified and motivated, but does not have a college degree, which could be a stumbling block. See how this issue is addressed in her resume.
Help with Your Internet Resume
- Your Most Important Keywords
One set of keywords is critical to the success of your job search, but you probably aren't paying much attention to them. Time to change that! Here's how...
- Internet Resume Keyword Success Secrets
Your Internet resume is the resume you submit on employer websites, on job boards and send through email. It is very important that your resume contains the right keywords for each opportunity.
Social Profile Keyword Success Secrets
Ensuring that your social profiles, especially LinkedIn, include the best keywords for your career and next job is essential for your success.
- Creating a Safe and Effective Internet Resume
How to create and use an Internet Resume, one which attracts appropriate employer attention and protects your privacy. Your traditional printed resume must be supplemented now with a 21st Century version that is compatible with e-mail and with Internet and database search technologies.
- Finding and Adding the Right Keywords to Your Resume
Most resumes end up in a database of some sort: in the resume database of a job board, in an employer's applicant tracking system, or in a recruiters email inbox where they need to be "find-able" for the right keywords (for you). Social media profiles are also searched by recruiters using keywords.
- Optimizing Your Resume for Employer Searches
You should design your resume to meet the needs of the Web search engines because recruiters DO search the Web for resumes. They also search through job board resume databases, employer applicant tracking systems, and even their own email accounts. So, being find-able is very important. Three key areas to focus your keyword research and usage to help you make your resume more find-able.
- Make Your Resume Cyber-Safe
Put the "Safe" in your Cyber-SAFE Resume by modifying the content of your resume! Take control and create your own privacy protection this way, without depending on the Web job site to do it for you. Do this to protect your existing job, if you have one, and your privacy.
- Employers Want Your "Social Resume" Too
Don't look now but a growing number of employers are asking candidates to submit links to their social profiles, aka their "social resumes." Some are predicting the end of the resume as we know it, but it's becoming more clear that your trail of social breadcrumbs is useful for employers who are evaluating "talent" (a.k.a. "job candidates").
This section of Job-Hunt will help you put together a resume that will help you get to that job interview. Then, other sections of Job-Hunt provide information on "Guide to Job Interviews," "Guide to Working with Recruiters," "Guide to Job Search Networking," "Guide to Social Media and Job Search" and much more...