Write your résumé
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Getting Started: Write Your Résumé
The hardest part about writing a résumé is starting to write the résumé! First you need to think about what you want to do, what image you wish to project, and how your past experiences relate to your current aspirations. Once you have addressed these crucial issues, putting your thoughts on paper is much easier.
Follow these steps to get started!
Choose a Format
There are four basic types of résumés: chronological, functional, combination, and curricula vitae (CVs). Choose a format that best fits your experiences and industry or one that you are comfortable with. Ultimately, the choice of résumé format is up to you.
Choose your focus
Decide what type of job you'll be applying for and the write it at the top of a piece of paper. If you need help in finding different industries and occupations, search America's Job Bank and America's Career InfoNet to identify hot industries and available opportunities. The job objective you list on your sheet of paper doesn't have to actually appear on your résumé. Sometimes, it's best to describe your job goals in the cover letter, where you can tailor your objective to each opening. Most employers do like to see an objective statement on your résumé. Make sure that it is precise. For example, "A marketing management position with an innovative corporation" is much better than "A position which utilizes my education and experience."
Start with several pieces of blank paper. Title each with the following headings and then brainstorm.
If you think you don't have any experience--think again Remember, the question in the employer's mind is: "Why should I speak with this person? How is he/she different from all the other applicants?" Try to answer these questions under each heading. Talking out loud about your overall career and job skills and experiences can sometimes be helpful. Remember to be big-picture and summary oriented. Ask yourself for each job and experience, "What did I do?"
Skills and Abilities
For help assessing your skills, you may wish to experiment with O*NET OnLine. This tool can be very helpful when you are trying to choose just the right wording to describe skills for a specific occupation. You'll find detailed information about the knowledge, skills and abilities required for virtually any occupation.
Now that you have everything down on paper, go back to each list and think about which items are relevant to your target job. Cross out anything that doesn't relate, even if this means entire jobs. Remember, if you have enough jobs listed, a particular job you held in high school may not be relevant. The purpose of a résumé is to get your foot in the door. It is not meant to be an all-inclusive recollection of your life. If you have a long history of work experience, you may want to list only recent jobs that are related to your present objective.
Create clear and concise sentences
Take all your lists and make full sentences out of the remaining items listed for each job and experience. Combine any items that are related to prevent your phrases from being short and choppy. Each sentence should be structured so it is interesting and compelling. Use action verbs at the beginning of each sentence to make each sentence powerful (refer to the list of action words). Make sure that each word in every sentence means something and contributes to the quality of the phrase. If you are having trouble writing clear and concise sentences, ask a friend who's good with words to help you. Also, most schools offer free services to help you with your résumé.
Insert targeted keywords
Your résumé must contain specific keywords to get noticed. These include descriptive nouns or short phrases that may be used to find your qualifications in a keyword search of a résumé database. These include talents, skills and relevant knowledge required to do your job. The job description will be one of the best sources for keywords. Refer to O*NET OnLine where job descriptions can be found on numerous industries.
NNearly every noun in a job postings and advertisements will be a keyword that employers use when searching through résumés. Make sure to use those words somewhere in your résumé, including synonyms wherever you can. For example, if you are seeking a public relations position, you should describe your "communication skills" and "writing experience." Never include a keyword on your résumé that is not true or doesn't represent your experience.
You're now finished with the hardest part of creating a résumé. The only thing left is to format your information in a style that reflects your personality. Your finished product should be finely tuned marketing instrument that reflects who you are and motivates the employer to contact you for an interview.
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