Tips for Writing a Good Resume

Tips for Writing a Good Resume

Job hunting is a tough task. Some people are fortunate to land their dream job in a few days while others wait for months. Regardless of the employer however, it is generally expected that you provide a resume to apply for a position.

If you’re like the majority of the population, writing a resume is a daunting thought. Where do you start? How do you make it look professional? What do you include? The whole process often becomes overwhelming when it doesn’t need to be. These are a few simple tips to keep in mind when writing a resume:

Compile a List of Important work & Personal Info

Resumes include your basic information (name, address, contact information), work history, education, skills/characteristics, and hobbies. Take a few moments to recall your last 3-5 jobs, highest levels of education along with graduation dates (if less than 10 years ago), and some of your best qualities. As you create your resume, all the information you need should be included for your reference.

Choose a Unique Format for Your Resume

The majority of employers have seen the basic MS Word template come across their desk hundreds of times. Choose a unique format or less commonly used format to make your resume stand out. Incorporate appropriate creative elements such as a unique, but still readable text, patterned background or paper, and graphics. Take into consideration the job you are seeking to help you determine what is deemed appropriate (ie. Use graphics or design elements if applying for a graphics related position).

Also, it may be helpful to look at templates of different types of resumes and layouts. For example, a job listing that places emphasis on educational requirements for the position calls for a resume that lists your relevant education and course listing to be displayed first with work experience and character traits to follow.

Use Formal Language

Many people make the mistake of using slang, lazy expressions, poor grammar and spelling errors or informal speech in their resume. Unfortunately, most potential employers will pass over your resume if it contains poorly written content. Formal language does not mean using long, hard to pronounce words, but rather refers to a professional tone generally one step above how you speak. If it sounds like something you would express to a good friend in a conversation, text or email, chances are, you need to raise the bar a notch.

Avoid Using Months in Your Work History

A detailed work history should be listed in your resume that includes the years you worked for a company. In most cases, including months in your work history may hurt your chances of getting an interview especially if there have been gaps in your employment. Resume experts recommend listing only the years you worked to highlight your skills, duties performed and positions rather than any gaps that exist in your employment. It also forces the employer to ask further questions if necessary, at your interview—the first stage you want to achieve.

Develop Resumes to Suit the Jobs You Apply For

Creating one resume is often difficult enough but once you have a solid resume to work from, you will find it easier to create new ones to suit specific jobs. Most job postings have attached job profiles and qualities listed that the employer is looking for in an employee. Be sure to highlight any relevant information in your resume based on the job profile and discard any unnecessary or irrelevant information. Also look at the requirements listed for the job. For instance, if the position requires you have a forklift operator’s license, listing your training courses in proper wine service would not be relevant but your First Aid certificate might be worth mentioning.

Whether you are applying for an entry-level position or the corner office dream job it is vital that you have at least one working resume that you can use. Developing a solid resume will take some effort but with a little patience and some planning you’ll have a great resume that will get you noticed in the job market.

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