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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to Write a Resume

Knowing how to write a resume is a critical skill for surviving and thriving in today's job market. Your resume is the first impression you give to a potential employer. It can help you land an interview or may lead to new job opportunities. Whether you are actively seeking a new job, or just want to refresh your existing resume, this page will guide you through the step needed to make your resume stand out from the crowd.

Whether you want to advance in your chosen field or you're making a drastic career change, a resume is a job search necessity. It provides an overview of your experience and skills, and a great resume can help you make it passed the screening cut and on to the interview round for a new job. Spending the time to perfect your resume is an investment in your future.

Resumes can be formatted in different ways, but it must accurately reflect your qualifications and job experiences. Generally, resumes should be kept to around one page, as information over a page is often ignored. Consider creating a standard resume that you can tweak according to the job descriptions regarding jobs you would like to obtain. Customization can help you land a job because you demonstration that you are a "good fit" for the business and position.

How-to Guides: Resume and Cover Letter

  • Be Honest
    1. It is better to address any gaps in employment than to try to hide them.
    2. Lying on your resume may get you into an interview, but you still have to go through a background and reference check to land the job.
    3. If you state you can perform a task or operate a program you don't know, your lie eventually be exposed.
  • Be Professional
    1. If your email address is funny but unprofessional, it may turn off potential employers.1
    2. If necessary, create a new email address solely for resumes (and don't forget to check it for responses!).
  • Be Concise
    1. Write out everything you want to include on your resume. You can trim it down to one page later.2
      • Note: If you have over 10 years of work experience, that is important and needs to be included, a resume of two pages is acceptable.
    2. Use easy-to-read fonts and a clear design] to make your resume more appealing.3 

 

Step 1: Before You Write Your Resume

  1. Before you begin constructing a resume, take the time to think about your experience and what type of job you're looking for.
    1. If you're re-entering the workforce, you may pick a different format than someone who's been working continuously.
    2. A recent college graduate will focus more on educational background than an experienced worker.
    3. If you're changing careers, you may opt for a different format than someone who is remaining in his current field. 
  2. Take a look at some sample resumes online. Boston College, the Wall Street Journal, Vault.com, and the University of Florida have some good examples.
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