During this tough economic time it is important to have a strong resume. Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself; your resume should stand out and make a bold statement. See the tips below on how to write a strong resume. Get ready, set, write!
Keep in mind when writing your resume the importance of using PAR statements.
PAR stands for Problem-Action-Results, in other words, first you state the problem that existed in your workplace, then you describe what you did about it, and finally you point out the beneficial results. Essentially, you use action verbs to portray your accomplishments and briefly describe the results.
Your resume must be presentable; that means it has to be neat and error free. No room for typos or grammatical errors. Always have someone proofread your resume for errors and clarity.
Presentation is important. Format your resume so that the employer can peruse it quickly and identify your strengths. This is the opportunity to make a first impression.
Use specific key words and buzzwords in your resume. Keywords are related to your job skills, experience, and qualifications. Buzzwords are words related to the industry you are applying in or employer’s business type. Do not abbreviate words.
Remember to use action verbs to portray yourself, such as active, accomplished, contributed, transformed, improved, etc. Managers and supervisors can use a different set of action verbs, such as Managed, Supervised, Directed, etc.
Avoid Personal Pronouns such as “I” or “me.” If you use them in your first draft, remember to remove them in the final resume document. For example if you write “I helped with the creation of a recruitment program…” You can say “Created a recruitment program that…” or “Contributed to the creation of a recruitment program…”
Be specific and to the point. Highlight accomplishments and key points. Accomplishments can be listed; key points can be highlighted in bold or italics text. Bullets are key to minimizing text.
Your objective should read clearly throughout your resume. Emphasis should be placed on skills and strengths. Personal traits (hard worker, responsible, self-motivated, organized, etc) may be important depending on the job you are applying for. Your personal traits will show in the resume and the interview.
List only recent information. The general rule of thumb is to show your work experience by most recent experience first; and keep it relative to the position you are applying to. Avoid experiences that go back many years and are irrelevant. Keep it concise, well organized, be honest and keep it positive. Remember your resume is a reflection of you.
Avoid vocabulary, or words, that do not reflect who you are. The person reading your resume will not be impressed. Keep it simple and use words we all understand. Having someone else, say, a Resume Writing Service, write your resumes may not reflect who “you” are.
Use clearly identified section headings. Section headings are your Objective, Employment Experience / History, Skills, Summary, Summary of Qualifications, Education, Professional Affiliations, Publications, Licenses and Certifications, Honors, and References (if requested). Accomplishments and Strengths should be reflected in the body of your résumé.
Note: Never write in your resume or cover letter, that you are interested in the position because you want to “grow” or “advance” your career with them. You do not want to make the company feel like you are using them to grow your career; they will not risk having you move on to another company with what they have taught you. When a company hires you and they train you, they are making an investment. Companies are not in the business of teaching their employees so they can move on to other companies – hence advancing their employees’ careers.
You want the position to establish a long lasting relationship with the company so you can contribute your past experience and knowledge, and at the same time grow with the company. Mention that you want to utilize your past experience but at the same time, enhance you knowledge to the benefit of the company.
A resume is the tool that, if written correctly and presented accurately, will help you land a job. It outlines your experiences, accomplishments, qualifications and skills. If formatted properly, an employer should be able to see immediately if you have the right qualifications and skill set he or she is looking for and whether you can contribute to the company. If you cannot communicate that in your resume within the first 30 seconds, almost by glance, then you have most likely failed the first round. Your resume will end up in the rejection pile and filed away.
To be effective keep your resume clear and focused. Highlight previous employers, city and Job Titles. Your previous employers’ job description / duties should focus around the requirements, as much as possible, of the position you are applying for. Mention accomplishments. Use key words. You should know as much as possible of the duties and skills of the job you are applying for.
Before you begin to write your resume, write down in chronological order (with the most recent position listed first) your past jobs, dates of employment and responsibilities or duties. Include only the most relevant duties and responsibilities, in addition to accomplishments, applicable to the position you are applying for. Again, the more you know about the employer and position, the better you can organize your resume. Avoid superfluous information (things that are not relevant).
You will note that the more experience you have, the easier it will be to write your resume. High School or college graduates will have a difficult time organizing a resume, for lack of work experience. In this case coursework, part-time jobs, summer internships, and volunteer work can be just as impressive. Good luck!
"You’ve got to say, I think that if I keep working at this and want it badly enough I can have it. It’s called perseverance." – Lee Iacocca