How Do You Write a Resume?

March 6, 2013 admin Blog

How do you write a resume?  What should be included?  What form should it take?  What should you leave out?  These are questions first time resume writers ask.  To answer them you must consider what the resume is intended to accomplish, or, better, what should it reveal?  The first thing to understand is that the resume does not need to tell everything.  It is not your biography.  It is not even a compilation of all the jobs you have ever held.  It is a directed list of qualifications, skills, and work experience supporting your qualifications and skills.

If you have been working as a manager for the past five years and you are applying for a position that will advance your managerial career, you do not need to document your work history in retail sales following your graduation from college.  It does not matter to your prospective employer.  He does not care about your retail sales experience because he is not looking for a retail salesman; he is looking for a manager.  Your resume should visit all of the experience you have had in management.  It should list your awards and accomplishments as a manager: things such as improvements in efficiency, increases in productivity, and the like.

Please note.  If you are a new entrant in the workforce, or relatively new, and your primary employment experience is not directly related to the career path on which you have decided to embark, you must list it.  You should, however, mine it for any experience or skill development that can be related to or applied to the position you are seeking.

You should list your education and training first.  Your list should begin with your most recent training.  Likewise, your employment history should begin with your most recent job.  It is not necessary to list every detail of your education, training, and experience.  You want to highlight what will be directly important to the position you are seeking.  An employer will appreciate not needing to spend valuable time sifting through information that is irrelevant to his needs.  That is why it is a good idea to have several different resumes tailored to each possible position you are seeking.  If you have the time, it is best to customize your resume to each position you apply for.  Likewise, your cover letter should be customized to each position.

Do not list anything irrelevant to the position you are applying for.  Your potential employer does not care about your hobbies or extra-curricular activities unless they demonstrate a skill set directly relevant to the job he will be hiring you to perform.  An exception to this is volunteer activities.  Such activities both indicate qualities of character that are desirable and good will value you bring to your employer’s enterprise through your association with service to the community.

You will want to conclude with references.  Some people recommend naming them on your resume.  Others suggest stating that they are available upon request.

Finally, keep your resume brief.  Strive to condense all information onto one page.  Under no circumstances should you go beyond two.  And don’t use “cutesy” colored or odd-sized paper.  Use standard quality paper stock and envelopes.

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