A resume is a brief record of one’s personal history and qualifications that is typically prepared by an applicant for a job. You must show how your education and work experience have prepared you for future jobs – specifically, the job for which you are applying. A good resume – one that reflects your strengths and minimizes your potential weaknesses – will help you get the interview and thus improve your chances of getting the job.
A good resume is …
· short, simple and clear;
· easy to read and professional-looking;
· tailored to the job and the employer;
· focused on results, not simply competency;
· free of irrelevant details;
· without spelling and punctuation errors;
· grammatically perfect.
Different kinds of jobs will require different personal information.
Keep a complete record of your job experiences.
Keep track of your work successes.
Keep track of activities in which you have engaged in school, etc.
Try to accumulate several job references.
The usual categories found in resumes are (1) job objective, (2) education, (3) experience, (4) activities, and (5) references. You need not present these categories in this order.
Try for a full, well-laid-out, one-page resume.
The purpose of the resume is to get you an interview, and the purpose of the interview is to get you a job. The resume and accompanying application letter (cover letter) are crucial in advancing you beyond the mass of initial applicants and into the much smaller group of potential candidates invited to an interview.
Most recruiters prefer a one-page resume for entry-level positions. “The thicker the resume, the thicker the applicant.” Your resume must be attractive and easy to read, containing the most important information only. But do not make your resume too short.
Use a clear, simple design, with plenty of white space. Choose a simple typeface, and avoid a lot of “special effects.” Use short paragraphs, and a logical organization. Make clear which parts are subordinate to main features. Avoid brightly colored papers. The overall appearance of your resume should present a professional, conservative appearance – one that adds to your credibility. Finally, your resume and application letter must be 100% free from error – in content, spelling, grammar, and format.
There is no such thing as a standard resume – each is as individual as the person it represents. There are, however, standard parts of the resume. Include the information employers want; exclude the information they do not want (religion, age, gender, photograph, marital status, high school activities).
Identifying information – your name (without titles such as Mr. or Ms.) and complete address together with your telephone number and email addredd. It is not necessary to include the heading “Resume” at the top – instead, your name should be the main heading – where it will stand out in the recruiter’s mind.
Job objective – a short summary of your area of expertise and career interest. Your objective must be personalized – both for you and for the position you’re seeking. Also, it must be specific enough to be useful to the prospective employer. E.g., “A public relations positionb requiring well-developed communication, administrative, and computer skills.”
Education – unless your work experience has been extensive, your education is probably a stronger job qualification and should come first on the resume. List the title of your degree, the name of your college and its location if needed, your major, and your expected date of graduation (month and year). Avoid including a lengthy list of college courses.
Work experience – any work experience – is a definite plus. If your work experience has been directly related to your job objectives, consider putting it ahead of the education section, where it will receive more emphasis. Use either a chronological (you organize your experience by date, describing your most recent job first and working backward) or a functional (you organize your experience by type of function performed or by type of skill developed) organizational pattern. Regardless of which type you use, provide complete information about your work history: the jobs held, employing companies, dates of employment, and job duties.
Show how your work experience qualifies you for the type of job for which you are applying (e.g., ability to work with others; communication skills; high-level computer proficiency; increasing responsibility, etc.). use concrete, achievement-oriented words to describe your experience (e.g., accomplished; achieved; created; increased; produced; modified; trained; updated; etc.).
Work experience need not be restricted to paid positions. Volunteer work, for example, can help develop valuable skills in time management, working with groups, speaking, accepting responsibility, and the like. Be ethical un all aspects of your resume. You must never lie about anything and must never take credit for anything you did not do.
Other relevant information – special skills, any honors or recognitions, membership in business-related organizations, involvement in volunteer activities. If you have military experience, include it. Other optional information – hobbies and special interests, travel experiences, health status.
References – the names of references (your present employer, university professors) are generally not included on the resume. Instead, give a general statement that references are available.
Many employers are looking for job candidates who aren’t intimidated by e-mail or posting their resumes online. Many employers even request that you send your cover letter and resume only to their e-mail address. Not only does doing this demonstrate how technology-friendly you are, but it allows employers quick access to your information and the ability to log any of your communications and attachments into their computer filing system. An electronic resume is a resume that is stored in a computer database designed to help manage and initially screen job applicants. Electronic resumes provide many benefits – both to the recruiter and to the job seeker. Building appropriate keywords (e.g., human resources manager, teamwork, etc.) into your resume is essential to successfully using automated resume systems. Follow content and format guidelines for electronic resumes. Here are some tips:
· Before sending a resume, confirm that your prospective employer has the right software to open the kind of files that you’re sending.
· Always type your recipient’s e-mail address into the “To” field last. This will help you avoid sending a message that is missing an attachment or an important paragraph, filled with errors, or addressed to the wrong person.
· When composing a cover letter by e-mail, include the proper salutation, headers, and addresses. Also, be sure to include your contact information in the body of your message, whether in your e-mail signature or in a closing statement.
· Always double-check files after attaching them to your message. Open them up after attaching them. Check whether you’ve attached the correct version of your file, or even the right file at all.
· Know the company’s e-mail policy.
· Treat an e-mail as though it were a printed memo. An e-mail can be as legally binding as a paper document. Do not send anything by e-mail that you would not send as a memo or a letter.
· Be careful if your e-mail deals with sensitive or proprietary company information.
· Make sure there is nothing in your e-mail that can come back to haunt you. Do not include or refer to workplace rumors, gossip, or other issues not directly related to business.
· Be careful about sending jokes or using humor.
· Avoid sending personal e-mail using your workplace e-mail account.
· Above all, use common sense when you’re sending e-mail.