Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tips for Writing your resume - effective way to write your resume 2

Posted by vishnu vardhan reddy boda at 7:58 AM

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What is a resume?

A resume is a concise written statement which highlights the qualifications and skills you possess as a result of your life experiences.

It communicates a maximum amount of relevant information through a minimum number of words. A resume is a printed synopsis, a capsule biography designed to persuade an employer to grant you an interview or to request your formal application.

Who should have a resume?

Everyone! In today's tough job market, the average individual changes jobs at least once every 4-6 years. The primary tool used by almost every employer to weed out prospective employees is the resume. The resume is your entry ticket to the job game.

When should I begin putting my resume together?

Now! A resume is something that grows and changes as you do. It's never too early to get started.

A well-prepared resume is a necessary tool for effective employment seeking. The time and effort devoted to resume preparation is a worthwhile investment in your future. Another major advantage to developing your own resume is that the very discipline required to collect, analyze, and prepare your data for writing provides the opportunity for necessary self-assessment. In addition, you will be better prepared to interview effectively with your educational and employment history at your fingertips.

Where to start?

Think of your resume as an advertisement. Before you write the advertisement, you must know what the product is that you are selling. You are the product! Make sure that you can clearly state what the benefits of this product are: your skills, abilities, competencies, motivation, and potential. Start by sketching your past work and educational experience.

Do not worry about form, that will be covered later. The important thing is to create a pool of information on which to draw. The best resumes are those that target the employer's needs. Do a little research into the employer's needs. This can be done through the job referral itself, annual reports and other publications by the employer, and publications in the Career Services Library .

Creating Your Resume

The Resume Heading:

You do not need to title this document as a resume; it should be readily apparent that it is a resume. The heading should consist of your name (which should be in bold capital letters), your address, phone number (including zip codes and area codes), and e-mail address. The ease with which a potential employer can contact you is vital. If you are in a transition period, you can list a current address and a permanent address.

Career or Job Objective:

This is a brief statement telling the reader what type of position you are seeking. Don't leave it to the employer to assume anything. They don't have time to guess. An objective is favored by most resume advisors.

Sample Objectives:

"A position in real estate management or development, requiring financial, analytical, and communication skills."

"Entry level position in a consumer goods manufacturing company."

"A position requiring a combination of editorial, research or administrative skills in a non-profit or research organization."

Education:

Whether educational experience is discussed first will depend on the individual. The education of a recent college graduate with little experience will make up the bulk of the resume. The resume is read from top down, therefore, put the most impressive or relevant data first. Normally, the further along one is in his or her professional career, the less importance will be given to their additional credentials and more importance will be given to specific accomplishments and experiences.

Under the heading of education list the institutions you have attended, after high school, names and dates of degrees conferred, special certificates, and majors. Grade point average (GPA) is a concern of many employers; you do not have to list it, but if it is impressive you should. Examples are GPA in major or senior year. Courses should not be listed by name and number. Your transcripts will define these specifics. Honors and extracurricular activities may be better if listed under separate headings. See examples listed at the end of this pamphlet.

The Content or Body:

There are three basic resume formats: chronological, functional, and a combination of the two. All of these formats combine the previous headings in various order, so as to present the information in an appropriate manner depending on the individual and type of position you are seeking. The following paragraphs will discuss each format and the pros and cons. Examples are given at the end of this pamphlet.

Chronological Resume The chronological resume lists most recent experience first, then the rest follow in reverse order.

Pros:

When the name of your last employer is an important consideration;
When staying in same field as prior jobs;
When job history shows real growth and development;
When prior titles are impressive;
In highly traditional fields (education, government).

Cons:
When work history is spotty;
When changing your career goals;
When you have changed employers too frequently;
When you wish to de-emphasize age;
When you have been doing the same thing too long;
When you have been absent from the job market for a while;
When you are looking for your first job.

Compiling a Chronological Resume

1. Start with present or most recent position and work backward.
2. Detail only the last four or five positions, or employment covering the last few years.
3. You do not need the complete date, year and month are sufficient.
4. Do not repeat details that are common in several positions.
5. Within each position listed, stress major accomplishments and responsibilities that demonstrate your full competency to do the job. Use action verbs.
6. Keep your next job target in mind, as you describe your prior positions.Emphasize accomplishments that are most related to the position you are seeking.

Education is not included in the chronological order. A general rule is, if it is within the last five years, it should go at the top of the resume. If earlier, it should be placed at the bottom.

Functional Resume

If the functional format is used, you will need to identify several functional or topical headings under which you will describe all elements of your work experience that give evidence of development of these particular skills. For example: editorial and writing, research, administrative, and organization.

These are major skill areas. One may describe, under a single heading, experience gained in more than one job. No attention is given to when or where these experiences were obtained, nor is it important to even identify, by name, the employers. In fact, "pure" functional resumes have no dates or organizations identified. See the example of a functional resume, attached.

Pros

When you want to emphasize capabilities not used in recent work experiences;
When changing careers;
When entering the job market for the first time;
When reentering the job market after an absence;
If career growth in the past has not been good;
When you have had a variety of different, relatively unconnected work experience;
When much of your work has been free-lance, consulting, or temporary in nature.

Cons

When emphasizing a management growth pattern; for highly traditional fields;
When you have performed a limited number of functions in your work;
When your most recent employers have been highly prestigious.

Combination of Chronological and Functional Resumes

The functional resume effectively communicates what your skills and competencies are, but fails to communicate where and when you acquired these skills. This is its major limitation. Many employers seek to know the context of your skill development. The combination resume highlights your skills in functional categories as well as answers the questions of "where" and "when?”


Experience:
This is the most important part of the resume and usually the most lengthy. Job title alone will not do. You should describe your actual responsibilities, make your positive assets known, express your duties in terms of your accomplishments and use action words. Stress the benefits that your previous employer derived from your contributions and your strong points in terms of benefits to future employers. If your job experience has only been part time or limited to summer jobs or volunteer work, do not short change yourself. Think about the positive aspects, the skills used and accomplishments.

Begin with your current or most recent job and work backwards. Make sure all your time is accounted for, do not leave time gaps. Be sure to list all your work experience, whether paid or unpaid. Employers like to see volunteer and community work.

List the job title, company name, location, duties on the job and dates of employment. If it is a job you went to each summer, just list the years and note below the years, "summer".

Other Optional Sections:

Honors/Awards

This section would include any honors or awards received pertaining to your academic career, sports, and job related. Also include any scholarships you may have received.

Extracurricular Activities

List any clubs you belonged to during your college career or subsequently. If you held an office, be sure to include that. No dates are needed in this section, only the organization's name and your office if you held one. Any professional organizations related to your career look good to an employer. Also in this section list any sports that you played competitively. during college.

Computer Skills


List computer programs you know how to operate.

Special Certification

List any certification (i.e. CPR, First Aid) pertinent to the career you are pursuing.

References

At the end of your resume you should include a page titled, "References". You should have at least 3 references. You will need their name, title, address, and phone number typed on this sheet of paper. Be sure to let your references know you are using them! If the companies ask for letters of reference, contact your references, ask them to write a letter on their stationary, and mail it to you or the employer depending on instructions given by the employer. References should be people who are familiar with your abilities, either in college or at work. Use former employers or college staff. The higher up in the organization, the better. Do not use personal friends or relatives.

Wording

Remember that an employer usually only skims a resume, spending 40 to 50 seconds on it. For this reason it is important to avoid long sentences and paragraphs. When describing experience, concentrate on achievements and accomplishments, not assigned duties. Wherever possible, qualify results with figures: "increased membership or sales by X%.", "reconciled budget of $X.00" Also keep in mind the following hints:

Do not use personal pronouns. The subject of every section is "I", and it becomes redundant.

Start sentences with verbs that convey action.

Use an outline format. Short sentences-even fragments. Delete repetitive statements.

Avoid abbreviations.

Use the vocabulary of the field for which you are applying, not from the field from which you are coming.

Whenever possible, refer to specific quantitative qualifiers or results.

Be sure to use correct voice and tense in you wording-past and present tense depending on employment situation.

Be consistent once you have chosen a style and format.

Always write in the employer's interest.

Appearance

Now that you have created a product with which to market yourself, we come to the final and one of the most important aspects of the resume: Appearance!! Your resume must be aesthetically pleasing to hold the readers attention as long as possible. The following are suggestions to help you with this area:

A resume should not look like a page out of a novel.

The use of margins and white spaces is very important in creating a positive visual presence.

Spacing is important to allow important items to stand out.

Boldface, underlining, and capitalizing should be used sparingly and consistently, to help the reader key into those areas you believe are important: skill areas, job titles, or workplace.

Indenting helps to separate different type of information and makes reading easier.

Only use letter perfect type and triple check for typos and spelling errors.

Guidelines to Remember:



A resume should be one page in length-two only if necessary. A resume should be professional in appearance.

A resume should be typed or printed on (8 1/2" X 11") white bond or off-white colors.

A resume may have underlined or italicized words for added emphasis.

A resume should not contain a photograph.

Gimmick resumes should be used with care and good taste.

Important credentials should be presented first

Specific information on work experience should be included.

Do not use unusual type styles.

Have good quality copies made.


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