Introduction to Resumes and Cover letters
Your resume and cover letter most often will be your first opportunity to make a good impression with hiring managers. Read about current trends and best practices to make the best presentation:
Before I share with you more ideas about writing resumes, i would like to advise you to print out the following tips and keep them near you while writing your resume. They hold the answers to all your resume questions.
Top 5 Resume Tips
- Your resume is about your future; not your past.
- It is not a confessional. In other words, you don’t have to “tell all.” Stick to what’s relevant and marketable.
- Don’t write a list of job descriptions. Write achievements!
- Promote only skills you enjoy using. Never write about things you don’t want to repeat.
- Be honest. You can be creative, but don’t lie.
Hiring managers look for resumes that are straightforward and easy to read. So don't worry too much about creating a document filled with fancy graphics and formatting; in fact, such flourishes may work against you if they aren't expertly prepared. Here's what you should focus on:
The format – Job seekers typically use reverse chronological resumes, which list the most recent jobs first, followed by previous positions. However, if you are a recent graduate and/or lack extensive work experience, you may want to try a functional format: Begin your resume with a summary of your skills and education and then list your work history.
Some applicants use a combination of the two formats, presenting an overview of their most important qualifications and accomplishments along with a chronological work history.
Highlighting your accomplishments – Give hiring managers a sense of why you would be a stellar employee by highlighting specific examples of past successes. Don't undervalue achievements outside of your main field. For instance, the fact that you improved a procedure while volunteering as a treasurer for a local community organization shows initiative and creativity, which are valued qualities in any job candidate.
Keywords – Many employers use resume-filtering software that scans for keywords and evaluates how closely resumes match the preferred skills and experience. To minimize chances of your resume getting filtered out, incorporate terminology from the job ad – if, of course, it honestly describes your abilities.
Accessibility – When applying for a position online, paste a plain-text version of your resume into the body of an e-mail to ensure recipients can read your material on any computer system.
How long should your resume be? Senior executives express a greater receptiveness to two-page resumes for staff positions. While most employers still prefer a one-page resume.
conciseness remains paramount, hiring managers also want to receive enough information to make good assessments of candidates' qualifications.
The best rule of thumb is to allow the breadth and depth of your experience to dictate resume length. On the other hand, don't make your resume longer than necessary simply to appear more experienced. Hiring managers can easily spot filler. Before putting anything on your resume, ask, "Does this add value to my candidacy?" If it doesn't, eliminate the information or recast it in more meaningful terms.
Modernizing Your Resume
If you're starting a job search, familiarize yourself with the latest resume trends. The main principles remain the same: Be honest, succinct and avoid errors. But newer developments in the world of resumes may be worthy of your consideration:
The summary – More job seekers are replacing the objective statement with a summary. A well-crafted overview of your most impressive qualifications at the top of the page can better convey why you're an attractive candidate.
Different delivery formats – HTML or Internet-friendly resumes have been used for a number of years and usually include links to work samples or more detailed information about a candidate's experience. You may want to consider also mailing a hard copy to hiring managers to further distinguish yourself.
Another format to consider is the video resume, although some companies are reluctant to accept them because of concerns about potential discrimination claims. In general, it's wise to check with an employer before submitting a video resume.
Potential for overexposure – Besides the potential for your employer learning of your search for a new position, you don't want to invite excessive spam or other unwanted e-mail contact by posting your resume too freely. You also want to make sure your resume is posted where your target audience is likely to see it.