Resume Writing 101

It is a globally known fact that your résumé is your best marketing tool that could either make or break you. It should serve as a highly reliable magnet that would facilitate in drawing career opportunities to you. Job seekers especially those who fail to seek advice from a professional resume writer may end up putting too much emphasis on past jobs that they do not necessarily like or on skills that are not entirely relevant to the new post. These job seekers would most likely end up on the wrong role or position over and over again – doing the job they hate most on a daily basis, creating a habit that seems too difficult to break. Is this you? If so, read on and you might learn a thing or two.

Your resume may contain your past, BUT it is something that should serve your future and not your past so stress ONLY the relevant experiences or responsibilities that will hold true to the position you are applying for. For example, you were once a chef who would like to make a career change and join the IT force – list your IT qualifications. In your responsibilities, highlight your ability to work within a team, your keen sense to detail or your methodical ability.

If you are a seasoned professional, you are not compelled to write your experiences from 15 years or so ago. However, if it is worth mentioning, consider how much space are you willing to give it. You can always give emphasis on your current role or your previous roles depending on its relevance. For example, you are applying for a project management role, you can definitely forgo writing your responsibilities from a sales job that you had 20 years ago.

Dates – as much as you can, provide them correctly. It can create suspicion if you don’t provide dates. However, the more seasoned you are, the less necessary it is to list the year you graduated from college, much more in high school.

If you have career gaps, consider listing things like the course you took on that year, the community service, volunteer work or other activities that you did for that particular period – and yes, do state your maternity leave to help you explain the gap.

In providing information about your most relevant working history, quantify achievements when you can. Providing numbers can strengthen the content of your statement. For example, writing ‘Effectively maintained 100% contract deliverables with no failed tasks or corrective actions’ sounds strong, as compared to ‘Maintained contract deliverables.’

Pay particular attention to keywords. Take time in reading the job description and repeat some terms from the job post in your resume, cover letter or even in your responses to the selection criteria – if required. Modify your document when necessary. Always be particular with wording preferences amongst industries, i.e., libraries have patrons, banks have customers, healthcare institutions may either go with residents or patients (especially for hospitals).

Keep your resume lean, but do not underestimate the need to have an ample amount of white space. Make sure the spaces in between are even.

If you are maintaining a LinkedIn account, do consider your resume and your LinkedIn profile as twins. They MUST provide the same information.

You see, the choices you make about your resume’s content and how it looks may gravely affect your future. So in writing your next marketing tool – have the above details in mind. Too complex? Well, you can always email or phone Resumes To You.

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