Resume Writing

When you are creating your resume you want to make it the most powerful statement that you can about yourself. You want your resume to highlight your strong points that make your resume stand out from the others. Starting your resume can seem like a daunting experience but it doesn't have to be. Remember that you can make changes to it once you get something on paper and can revise it as you see fit. Here is a step-by-step guide to get you started now.

First, gather the information that you'll need to begin. You can use a worksheet or just a plain sheet of paper. Be sure to assemble your own personal key pieces of information. This include work history (including dates), education, skills, knowledge, qualifications, experience, organizations you belong to and any special achievements or awards you have been given that relate to the job. Start with as much information as possible. As you craft your resume you'll filter out what items you don't need. It is always best to start with as much information as possible.

Decide the format that you want to use. If you have little or no work experience you'll want to focus on your education and your abilities. If you have plenty of work experience you'll want to use just the relevant information. When you have gaps in your employment history you can use a format that is less focused on dates and more focused on abilities. No matter what you decide you'll want to keep your resume down to one page and only one page. This is easy for some and difficult for others.

Make a list of your qualifications for this particular job. Think about why you would make a good candidate for this employer and then write that into one or two sentences. This can be put near the top of the resume. The job objective should include a compelling on-sentence statement about the specific job for which you are applying.

When you consider what your qualifications are first list all of them. Then, edit them to include the unique qualifications that many other people wouldn't have. Start with a list of at least three and no more than 10 of your outstanding qualifications for the job. These can be experience related or skill related or accomplishment related. Write simple true statements about yourself to sum up your qualifications.

List your previous employment along with job title and major skills for each position. Always list the most recent position first. If you have many years of positions you can drop off anything older than about 10 years old which can be covered in the interview. Next, list your educational credentials including the name of the college, the location, the degree obtained and (optional) the year. Don't list high school education. If you have specific technical education or courses that pertain to your position list them here. If you have won any awards or special honors you should list them as well. As a general rule of thumb you can add a statement that says you will provide references on request. Don't list them on your resume as they take up too much room and aren't necessary.

Arrange the items in a nice format. You can use special resume template software or just use your own document. Choose one easy to read font and stick to it for the entire resume. Keep everything formatted to the left of the page to create an easy to read document. Use bold for the main section names as well as for your own name at the top. Be sure to include your address and phone number as well as email address.

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