Guide To Resume Writing
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ASSESSMENT TOOLS AND RESUME WRITINGTABLE OF CONTENTS
Section 1 Resume Writing1. What is a Cover Letter?2. What is a Resume?3. The Resumes Objective Section4. Customize Your Resumes Objective
5. Chronological Resumes (Typical Resume Format)
6. Resume Action Words7. Onlne tools for writing resumes / Recommended Reading
8. Homework Assignment: Lets Get Started
9. Guidelines to Best Presentation of Resume10. Your Elevator Pitch
11. Questions You Should Ask Yourself12. Consider Freelancing
What is a Cover Letter?A cover letter:a. Is a one page document which is designed to introduce the author and explain the materials (resume; references; work samples; etc.) being submitted.b. Expresses gratitude beforehand for the time of the person who will be reviewing the material & suggests that reading the material will actually be an excellent use of that time.c. Includes research on the employer so that the author can reference the company's recent activities or recent accomplishments.d. Usually addresses the specifics of a job opening / position / career field with a line which subtly indicates that the author is perfectly suited.e. Provides information which would not be as appropriate for a resume such as: geographic focus of your job search; availability to begin a new role; previous government security clearances held; veterans status; etc.f. Can include supplemental information (Blogs; volunteerism; professional memberships; published pieces; links to personal websites; hobbies; etc.) about the author, to make the author seem more human and accessible.g. Has a final paragraph with multiple contact touch points (cell #; home #; email address; twitter; IM; etc.) for the author; and, it closes with a formal salutation such as Sincerely.Since you have been impacted by a layoff rather than a performance-related issue, you may want to consider mentioning it in your cover letter. Employers are more forgiving of layoffs, so mentioning this might work in your favor. You can write something like this:
As you may have read, (company name) announced a round of layoffs, and my position was eliminated. Although saddened to leave this company, where my performance has consistently been rated as outstanding, I am looking forward to repeating my same record of success for my next employer...
What is a Resume?a. A summary of one's experiences; applicable skills; and personal accomplishments relevant to a field of work for the information of potential employers.b. A selling tool that outlines your skills and experiences so an employer can see, at a glance, how you can contribute to the employer's workplace. Your resume has to sell you in short order. While you may have all the requirements for a particular position, your resume is a failure if the employer does not instantly come to the conclusion that you "have what it takes."
c. A summary for the purpose of showing potential employers that you are qualified for the work you want. Its purpose is to get you an interview; it isnt a biography of life.
It is a mistake to think of your resume as a history of your past, as a personal statement or as some sort of self expression. Sure, most of the content of any resume is focused on your job history. But write from the intention to create interest, to persuade the employer to call you. If you write with that goal, your final product will be very different than if you write to inform or catalog your job history.
Most people write a resume because everyone knows that you have to have one to get a job. They write their resume grudgingly, to fulfill this obligation. Writing the resume is only slightly above filling out income tax forms in the hierarchy of worldly delights. If you realize that a great resume can be your ticket to getting exactly the job you want, you may be able to muster some genuine enthusiasm for creating a real masterpiece, rather than the feeble products most people turn out.
Writing a great resume does not necessarily mean you should follow the rules you hear through the grapevine. It does not have to be one page or follow a specific resume format. Every resume is a one-of-a-kind marketing communication. It should be appropriate to your situation and do exactly what you want it to do.
The good news is that, with a little extra effort, you can create a resume that makes you stand out as a superior candidate for a job you are seeking. Not one resume in a hundred follows the principles that stir the interest of prospective employers. So, even if you face fierce competition, with a well written resume you should be invited to interview more often than many people more qualified than you.
The bad news is that your present resume is probably much more inadequate than you now realize. You will have to learn how to think and write in a style that will be completely new to you. Let's take a look at the purpose of your resume. Why do you have a resume in the first place? What is it supposed to do for you?
Here's an imaginary scenario. You apply for a job that seems absolutely perfect for you. You send your resume with a cover letter to the prospective employer. Plenty of other people think the job sounds great too and apply for the job. A few days later, the employer is staring at a pile of several hundred resumes. Several hundred? you ask. Isn't that an inflated number? Not really. A job offer often attracts between 100 and 1000 resumes these days, so you are facing a great deal of competition.
The prospective employer staring at the huge stack of resumes and isn't any more excited about going through this pile of dry, boring documents than you would be. But they have to do it, so they dig in. After a few minutes and some subset of their pile of resumes, yours gets read from beginning to end. Then, it gets put on top of the tiny pile of resumes that make the first cut. These are the people who will be asked in to interview.
Research shows that only one interview is granted for every 200 resumes received by the average employer. Research also tells us that your resume will be quickly scanned, rather than read. Twenty to fifty seconds is all the time you have to persuade a prospective employer to read further. What this means is that the decision to interview a candidate is usually based on an overall first impression of the resume, a quick screening that so impresses the reader and convinces them of the candidate's qualifications that an interview results. As a result, the top half of the first page of your resume will either make you or break you. By the time they have read the first few lines, you have either caught their interest, or your resume has failed. That is why we say that your resume is an advertisement. You hope it will have the same result as a well-written ad: to get the reader to respond.
To write an effective resume, you have to learn how to write powerful but subtle advertising copy. Not only that, but you must sell a product in which you have a large personal investment: you. What's worse, given the fact that most of us do not think in a marketing-oriented way naturally, you are probably not looking forward to selling anything, let alone yourself. But if you want to increase your job hunting effectiveness as much as possible, you would be wise to learn to write a spectacular resume.
You do not need to hard sell or make any claims that are not absolutely true. You do need to get over your modesty and unwillingness to toot your own horn. People more often buy the best advertised product than the best product. That is good news if you are willing to learn to create an excellent resume. With a little extra effort, you will usually get a better response from prospective employers than people with better credentials.
A great resume doesn't just tell them what you have done, but asserts: If you buy this product, you will get specific, direct benefits. It presents you in the best light. It convinces the employer that you have what it takes to be successful in this new position or career. It "whets the appetite"; stimulates interest in meeting you and learning more about you; and, inspires the prospective employer to pick up the phone and ask you to come in for an interview.
Sue Campbell (http://www.1st-writer.com/what_is_a_resume.htm) writes: It is a rare candidate who is hired by his or her resume alone. It is just as rare to be offered an interview without a resume.
A resume is often the first line of contact. It establishes a first impression of a potential job candidate's skills, background and hiring value. If written well, this impression can be a positive one, offering the reader a sense of the candidate's "fit" for theposition and company being targeted. If written really well, it may convince the reader that the job candidate is ideally suited for the job. When coupled with an effective cover letter, the resume can be a very strong marketing tool.
Preparing a resume may be seen as a nuisance, but having a well-constructed, well-designed resume is an important part of your job search. Consider that for each available job opening there may be as many as 100 to 1000 resumes submitted. If your resume fails to adequately and accurately convey your hiring value (for the specific position), fails to establish your hiring value over competing candidates, or is difficult to follow, your ability to compete against those 100 to 1000 professionals vying for the same position your are will be greatly diminished. If your resume secures an interview, it has done its job. If it sets you ahead of the competition in the mind of your interviewer, then it has given you a distinct advantage, and has gone beyond its job.
A great resume does what all good marketing pieces do: it sells the "consumer" (the potential employer