With so many people applying for the same job, successful resume writing is a vital step in forming a positive and lasting first impression in the minds of prospective employers. A resume needs demonstrate who you are right from the first letter. Otherwise, the chances of securing that all-important job interview sharply decline. An effective resume needs to contain a series of well-written areas that list your skills and qualifications. It also needs to show him or her why you are the best person for the job.
Providing your contact information at the top of a resume seems straightforward, but it says a lot about you. First, make sure to choose professional looking fonts other than Times New Roman that are clear and easy to read. Finally, examine your email address closely. It is a good idea to have a separate email address account for a job search, but you want to be sure the name you choose has a professional feel and gives the right impression.
Objective and Qualifications
For those just starting in their field of work, an objective is the best way to start. Compose one or two sentences that states the position you are applying for, your qualifications, and why you are the best candidate for the job. For added impact, include keywords from the employer’s job ad. This tailors your objective to that particular employer and shows you have an eye for detail.
For applicants already established in their chosen career path, a summary of qualifications (or career highlights) is preferred over an objective in order to emphasize your years of experience. Instead of focusing on your previous position, concentrate on your skills and accomplishments. If you were a baker, for example, begin with something such as ‘baker with eight years of experience successfully producing high quality baked goods…’
As with the qualifications section, the work history segment of a resume needs to list the tasks you performed at previous jobs with a focus on your skills and accomplishments. You also want to give the potential employer a sense of the importance and scope of your previous position. For example: Instead of ‘I was a head baker’ try ‘Responsible for managing a team of baking professionals who have repeatedly exceeded the goals of the company for the past three years.’ Also, only include work experience that is relevant to the job you are applying for.
How you write the education section will greatly depend on where you are in your career. If you are recently out of high school, give a full listing for your high school as well as additional courses taken that related to the job. For those who have recently completed a degree and are new to their career, place this section after the objective to give it more importance. If you are established in your chosen field, leave this section at the bottom and only include your last degree and relevant certifications.
A resume is an important letter of introduction that will set the stage not only for your interview, but for your future position there as well. Since the employer will skim over your resume rather than hanging on every word like a good book, you need to catch his eye and convince him to click save instead of delete. With a well-written resume that accurately reflects who you are, you will soon be at the top of the employer’s interview list.