Resume Writing Guide
A job resume is used mostly by North Americans in the domestic job search. However, they use a CV in overseas job search or Curriculum Vitae if they are seeking a faculty, research, clinical or scientific positions.
A CV is similar to a resume in that it provides more details about one’s professional qualifications, experience and education. However, the term "Curriculum Vitae" most often called CV, typically carries a different meaning depending on whether one distributes the CV within the US, Canada or internationally (external to the US or Canada) or is seeking a faculty, academic, research, clinical or scientific position.
You can turn your current CV into a resume by shortening some descriptions of your educational and professional experiences.
The North American job search process is very commercial. Looking for jobs in the USA and Canada is much like selling a product - you are selling yourself. Therefore, your resume is a marketing tool, which must be adapted to the market in which you intend to use it.
The standard resume is between 1 and 2 pages long, however, resumes for a mid-career executive may be as long as 3-4 pages.
The resume should focus on past accomplishments, expressed in terms as concretely as possible (e.g. a number of people managed, the number of increased sales or improved customer satisfaction). Use power words and action verbs such as contributed, organized, trained, managed, developed, coordinated etc. Bullet point these at the start of a sentence for maximum impact. Where possible, mention the number of employees for which you were responsible. Provide examples that fit the job, to illustrate your achievements.
In your resume writing carefully consider what to leave out of your resume and exclude anything that might give prospective employers a chance to discriminate against you.
It is advantageous not to submit job/business references with your application but mention that they are available on request only. Employers usually ask for references when they actually need them. This is a strong indication that an employer is interested in you.
Generally, most information referring to a job resume is applicable to a CV and vice versa. However, you should be aware that there might be subtle conventions associated with the international/overseas job application process within different countries.
There are various formats of resume writing:
- functional resume,
- basic resume,
- chronological resume,
- reverse chronological order resume,
- keyword resume,
- combined resume,
- creative resume and
- targeted resumes to name some.
Regardless of the format, you choose in your resume writing, the focus of your resume should be to persuade the employer to invite you for an interview. Use action words and phrases. Therefore these pages contain guidelines that will improve the odds of your resumes achieving the objective you want - obtaining job interviews.
|Colombia||India||New Zealand||Saudi Arabia||USA|
|Czechia||Israel||Oman||South Africa||Virgin Islands|
As you can see from the above table the majority of countries, except the strike-through countries like Canada, China, Japan, New Zealand and the USA use CVs instead of resumes. For China, Japan and New Zealand it is a matter of semantics - both names, a resume and a CV are being used synonymously.
In process of your resume writing check the spelling and grammar of your resume. Use the word processor's spell and grammar checker. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation and usage errors in English or other language or if you need help in organizing your resume, bring it to a professional for assistance.
Remember that your resume must be targeted, scannable and generate hits. If you have difficulty with your resume writing instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, use resume samples and resume templates or:
- "fill in the blanks" resume writing software
Most recruiters expect to receive a cover letter together with your CV or resume.
So, prepare a cover letter convincing the reader why you are the best candidate for the interview.
If you have difficulty with your cover letter writing use one of these:
Other Resume Writing Info
Good luck with your resume writing!