The best written resume is worthless if no one sees it!
In recent years it become increasingly popular to join the LinkedIn or Facebook social networking websites for professionals, where you may search for jobs and have your keyword-optimized, rich content profile with current resume. Hiring managers use them more frequently to consult your profile and supplement or check against the resume you send along. If you do not have an account, create one and include your social media link(s) on your resume.
However, you should manage your online presence and eliminate any photos and statements that could reflect poorly on you. From an employer’s point of view, someone who emphasizes partying on a social networking site is not focused on jobs and those who post complaints about work or colleagues are less desirable candidates. Online resume should not include sensitive information as they could show lack of respect for confidentiality and discretion.
Resume Tips for Job Seekers
A great resume is not just a complete list of employment and education. . . it's got to be a selling document. Your resume needs to make very clear that you are highly skilled and an excellent candidate for their position, with energy and enthusiasm for your career. A resume is like a snapshot. You wouldn't have a picture of yourself taken without combing your hair, putting on lipstick, or whatever it takes to make yourself look as attractive as possible. It's the same thing with a resume. . .this is your first impression.
Visual appeal of a resume
In terms of the visual appeal of a resume, a resume produced on a laser printer makes a big difference. A good dot matrix printer used to be all right, but with the availability of computers so widespread now, a laser printer is really the way to go. The way a resume looks can be tied to the field the job seeker is exploring.
Think of resumes as akin to professional dressing. A resume for the banking industry might certainly look different from a resume for the advertising industry. In more conservative areas, you won't waver from 12-point black ink on white or off-white plain bond paper. For more creative fields, however, we might suggest some graphic changes - using bullets, changing type size, etc. Don't get carried away though - colored ink, for example, can be too distracting. You want to catch the employer's eye but still be professional.
If you want to impress someone with your creativity, send a sample of your work. Don't use your resume to show how artistic you are.
What goes in your resume
In terms of what actually goes in your resume, your resume has to say not just where you've worked, but how well you've performed - think accomplishments.
If you have been a production supervisor in manufacturing for 10 years, tell the reader what you have accomplished, in addition to your responsibilities. For instance, "As a Production Supervisor, successfully used a team management style of supervision to increase productivity, decreased injuries through new safety programs, promoted staff to management through an emphasis on training and development, implemented TQM throughout the plant and directed installation of digital controls in the manufacturing equipment."
Most successful resumes are written with a specific occupation in mind...
This approach shows that the person is a highly effective production manager. Be specific and be focused. Use active verbs (for the grammatically-challenged who may not remember their junior high English classes, active verbs are the ones that don't use helping verbs). Use verbs such as maintained, supervised, managed, as opposed to saying, was responsible for.
Many prospective employers "scan" a resume first - either with an optical scanner or with the human eye, looking for keywords or phrases. This is done, not so much as a hiring tool, but as a way to sort through the sometimes hundreds of resumes received for an advertised position. A great resume for scanning provides these keywords in order to 'maximize hits' for the best-qualified applicants.
In other words, don't just write, "Directly supervise 12 employees." Instead write, "Directly supervise 12 Customer Service Representatives entailing training on computer system, troubleshooting, scheduling to meet peak demands, and maintaining employee records.'" In order to find the key or "buzz"words of your industry, read the "want ads" in the newspaper. Find 5-10 ads for your field - look for phrases used over and over again. Use these action words or phrases in your resume.
What if you don't have all the skills the ads are calling for?
A great resume always includes details of your abilities with computers. Don't just write: "Skilled in use of PCs with WordPerfect." That's not good enough in this computer-driven job market. Write about your level of skill in each major program. A secretary, for example, can write, "Proficient with WordPerfect 6.0, including graphs, charts for presentations, as well as word processing and file management; act as office LAN administrator for 15 management and secretary staff; install software upgrades and provide user training and support."
For those looking for a federal job, the former Form 171 has been replaced by the new Federal Resume, a 2-4 page document which includes "security details" such as social security number, citizenship, addresses of employers, and other details not usually required by private industry employers. Indeed, within private industry, job-seekers are leaving out personal information that was once considered standard on a resume - age, health status, marital status and the like. Both employers and employees are more sensitive to the appearance of bias - this current trend.
Just how long should a resume be?
That's a judgement call. If you can get all the information on one page, fine, but that's not always the case, especially if you have at least 10-15 years' experience, or a list of publications you've written. If you need more room to get all your skills in, then go to two pages.
The length of the resume might also depend on the format you use - chronological or functional.
A chronological resume, which works best for most people, emphasizes employment dates and perhaps increases in responsibility over time.
A functional resume, on the other hand, places less importance on dates and more on the skills gathered through the years. A functional resume can work best, for career shifters, those with an inconsistent work history and those who may be a bit older than the average job-seeker but don't want to call attention to the fact.
Some people may, in fact, have both a functional and a chronological resume, or even several different versions of the same resume, highlighting different objectives and different skills. The purpose a resume serves varies from industry to industry. In sales, for instance, just a brief resume can often get you an interview; in other fields, a more detailed resume is the only way to get your foot in the door.
After completing your resume
After completing your resume, don't overlook other job-seeking tools such as cover letter and thank-you notes. In your cover letter, respond to what an individual ad has listed and be as specific as possible. Go beyond the qualifications. Make yourself stand out from the others. And don't forget thank-you notes for referrals, for interviews, even for jobs you wind up not getting. You never know when something else will open up.
If you're not excited about your resume, no one else will be either
Check the spelling and grammar. Use the word processor's spell and grammar checker. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation and English or other language usage errors or if you need help in organizing your resume, send it to a professional for assistance.
Remember that your CV/resume must be targeted, scannable and generate hits. If you have a difficulty with your CV writing or resume writing instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, use CV samples, CV templates, resume samples and resume templates or:
- "fill in the blanks" resume writing software.
Most recruiters expect to receive a cover letter together with your resume or CV.
So, prepare a cover letter convincing the reader why you are the best candidate for the interview.
If you have a difficulty with your cover letter writing use one of these:
Other Resume Tips Info
Good luck with your resume tips!