Your Resume, Never Go Job Hunting Without It!

Sitting in the waiting room, your hands are cold and clammy. You have an interview with the executive board and are so nervous you feel like last night’s supper has a date with your tongue. In the midst of this, your stomach is growling from not eating anything for fear of rejection and you have already relieved yourself in the waiting room bathroom four times in the last 10 minutes. These horrible feelings, of course, could not be possible if you hadn’t had a professional, informative, and structured resume.

Many options are available today for creating, printing/viewing, and submitting a resume. After everything is said and done, the most important part of a resume is the impression it makes on a potential employer. A bad impression makes a lasting one. Treat your resume as though it were the only contact an employer would have with you and it is the deciding factor in obtaining an interview and a job.

The internet, your local library, and career centers are great locations to obtain free advice and information for building your resume. Professional services are also available for creating your resumes. No matter which path you decide, you will need the basic information outlined in this article.

To start, make a list of every job you EVER had. The reason for this is that you will create a handful of resumes to fit the type of position you are applying for. If you keep one list, you can always copy and paste the information into your resume template which we will discuss further down. Make a list of the following items: Name, address, and phone number of employer, name of supervisor, dates worked (try to get it down to the month and year), starting pay, ending pay, position held, and duties performed. This will give you a guide to use when creating your resume and filling out applications.

Example Job History Entry:

Name of Company1234 Smith Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45241, 555-555-1234John Jones, $8/hrPosition Held – Description of duties.

Once you create your list, you are ready to build your resume. Your research sources will also have some example templates for you to use. The basic sections of your resume should include:

1st – your name, address and contact information at the top

2nd – Employment Objective. This is optional. If you are applying for an executive or management position, it is good to have an objective. This lets employers know what type of position you are looking for and how they can fulfill your needs for a position. This section should include no more than two short sentences and should never replace a cover letter.

3rd – Work Experience. Copy and paste from your work history into the body of your resume. Remember, you don’t need to copy all of it, only the jobs that pertain to the position you are applying for. Try to get the most recent positions listed. If there are gaps, you can discuss them in your interview.

4th – Education. ESPECIALLY list this if the position you are applying for requires a certain degree and you have it. If you have no college, at least list your high school status and any certifications if you have them. If you are directly out of high school, emphasize any activities you participated in while in high school. The more activities you are involved in, the greater your chance of being hired quickly.

5th – Interests and Activities. List these if you volunteer in the community, have hobbies or are members of clubs which pertain to the position you are applying. It doesn’t do me any good to tell my employer I like to sew when I’m applying for a Web Designer position. If there is nothing to list here, don’t put this section in.

If your resume won’t fill one page, list two or three references to take up the extra space. If your resume is too long, don’t list your references and change the margins, font, design, etc. to make your resume fit one page. It is very important that your resume not be more than two pages and takes up at least one page.

Things to do:

Proofread, proofread, and proofread!!! There is nothing like the feeling of handing out a resume when your name is spelled wrong!!

Pass your resume out to friends and especially your references to proofread. Sometimes other people can see things you need to change or have ideas about things you need to add or take out. Give it to your teachers, family, and co-workers or anyone who is willing to look at it. You should also be familiar with your spell-check on your computer and use it.

Use action words in your duties performed section such as: accomplished, analyzed, applied, awarded, budgeted, built, centralized, communicated, completed, contributed, coordinated, created, and decided.

When submitting your resume through an online service, be sure the format is easy to read for the recipient. When sending your resume through e-mail, ensure the recipient has the ability to view it. Do not copy and paste into your e-mail body as it makes it very difficult to print. When printing your resume, make sure it is on 81/2 by 11 inch paper. Do not use colored paper, use good quality white paper. Clean copies are essential.

Use the same font and font size throughout the resume. You might want to bold your headings, but be sure it is clean and easy to read.

Keep your resume up-to-date. An easy way to do this is to keep your list of employers up to date and all you will have to do is copy and paste again when you are ready to use your resume.

Mistakes to Avoid:
Do not use brightly colored paperDo not date your resume Do not crowd your words together and cause your resume to look busy and visually unappealing Try to keep your resume to one page. If you make your resume longer, you lessen the likelihood of it being read. An employer has likely advertised widely and may have to scan dozens of resumes – added length may mean they won’t read yours. Do not use abbreviations that are not in common use.Do not list your salary requirements. If an employer requests them, they should be listed in your cover letter.Do not attach classified advertisements. Do not attach a picture.If there are changes since you last reworked your resume, do not hand write the additional information; re-do it!Do not print your resume with a poor printer or an unusual typeface; both make it harder for an employer to read.Ensure your resume is formatted correctly when submitting an electronic copy.

There are so many different styles of resumes you can create, so personalize your own. Remember; make it simple and easy to read, but eye catching too. The internet and local newspapers are great sources for job hunting. Being confident in your abilities will back up your written accomplishments. Happy hunting!

Visit THE one site for searching thousands of job boards, newspapers, classifieds, and company websites here.


Passing along experiences and thoughts to you.

Image taken on 2009-04-16 10:48:16. Image Source. (Used with permission)

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