For this month’s blog I am going to revert back to some of my earlier blogs, and focus again on job searching. Specifically I am going to discuss ‘the resume’, and some tips or guidelines that you should follow when writing a resume. In my experience, I believe the two main objectives you need to focus on in a resume are:
Does your resume clearly communicate that you meet the needs of the employer?
Think of a resume as an advertisement for a product, only this time the product is you, so positioning is everything. The person who receives your resume will scan it quickly to determine whether you can h
elp her company. Your job is to say quickly, clearly and loudly that you can! It is often easier to do this if there is a job ad posted, rather than if you are sending out resumes to employers at random. With a job ad, the needs of the employer are basically stated. That being said if there is a job ad for a customer service representative, it is worthwhile to do an internet search for “duties of a customer service representative”, and see what comes up. This is also what you would do if you are handing out, or dropping off resumes to companies or businesses who have not posted a job ad.
How do you include this information into your resume; that ties in to the second objective in your resume?
Is your resume easy to read?
At least 50% of the impact of your resume derives from design. Simply stated, your resume needs to be easy to read – especially for entry level positions. This is achieved by using headings (Skills and Qualifications, Employment History, Education…) and bullets or point form information.
The skills and qualifications area is important; this is where you match your skills to the job you are seeking. For example in customer service you would want to state that you get along with people, enjoy helping others, can multitask, adapt to different situations and problem solve. Possess good communication, listening and time management skills; – if you so possess these skills. The best way to state these skills and qualities is in point or bulleted form. Eg.
- Strong problem solving and time management skills
- A team player who works well with fellow workers
- Excellent communication skills
- A quick learner who is able to adapt to different situations…
What the bullets do is make your resume easier to read. This is important because employers often have a stack of resumes to go through when looking to hire. If your resume looks like a page from a novel, or is difficult to read, it may get eliminated before they even take a look at it. Sometimes less is more. The statements above, on their own, give information, but are more than that when tied with other parts of your resume. For example, if in your employment history section (or your volunteer experience section) you state that you worked as a bus person, waitress, cashier… it shows how these skills were developed. Even your education section shows that you can problem solve and can learn new things.
Therefore showing an employer that you meet their needs and qualifications in a simple, easy to read way, should be the basic model you remember when writing a resume.