Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Art of Writing a Positive and Winning Resume. 20 Key Points Explained.

Writing a winning resume is easy if you follow these tips.

1. What is a resume?
It's a tool which gets you to the employer's table. It bags an interview for you, not a job. It's not a biographical piece of work or a confessional.

2. What's a resume about ?
It's all about you - your education, employments, accomplishments. A true resume predicts the way you'd perform in the next job.

3. How to make my resume refreshing ?
Remove every sentence that starts with " my responsibilites included" and replace them with accomplishments at the workplace.

4. What's the commonest mistake made in resumes ?
Lack of a 'job objective'. You must reveal a sense of direction or your exployer would have to use the paper shredder.

5. How to start a resume ?
Outline your job objective, then begin writing the resume.

6. What you should not put on a resume ?
A> The word "Resume" at the top of the resume.
B> Salary information.
C> Complete address of former employers.
D> Reasons for leaving previous job.
E> Personal saction
F> References
G> Father's name and occupation.

Use the resume to promote your new career objective. The resume, should reveal your passion for the job, the kind of work you were always searching for. They can't refuse someone with such an enthusiasm for a particular kind of job. Give a brief on how the interest crept up and how you kept it alive all these days.

7. Are summaries at the beginning of the resume good ?
Definitely. The employers gets the complete picture about you in a jiffy. Write about four to five lines only.
Write about your experience, relevant degree or training, achievements, strong skills and something uniquely personal.

Four successful years in marketing. MBA with emphasis on marketing. The top sales guy of the company for two years in the running. Extremely good at negotiating and closing corporate clients. Team man with lots of initiative and an unmatched drive for success.

8. Should my resume be in the chronological format or the skill-based functional one ?
The chronological format is fine if you're continuing in the same field and moving up in your career, especially if your work history shows continuous progress.

The functional resume works better when you're changing fields.

9. What skills areas should I put on my resume ?
The skills must relate to the job being applied for. Read the recruitment advertisement carefully to find out what the employer wants, find out what the employer wants, then design your resume to suit the employer's needs.

10. What if I have stuck to one employer for a long time ?
You can show how you have grown in the organization. List job titles and accomplishments. Focus on the changing responsibilities, your ability to handle them with success and the continuous growth in your career graph.

11. What if I'm overqualified for a job ?
Be smart, its not necessary to list all your academic achievements and degrees in the resume. Use headings like "Relevant Work History" or "Recent Work History" and give only as many years of work experience desired for the job you're applying for. The same thing about education. Even if you are a Ph.D, use "Relevant Education" to show that you're MA/ M Sc. Once you get to the interviewer's table, you can convince them about your candidature.

12. How can I put my summer part-time jobs on my resume ?
Summer part-time jobs, summer internships, summer weekends could be used to explain your early ambitions, sense of responsibility (say you footed a part of your school or college fees through this).

13. What if I haven't completed my degree as yet or I'm waiting for my results ?
Use BE due in may 2000 or degree anticipated soon or BA, Loyola College, Chennai pending.

14. What about gaps in my work history ?
Don't hide things. Be positive about what you were doing.

15. What if I have different job objectives ?
One size does not fit all. Design a resume, say for marketing, using skills and accomplishments that the job requires. If you're applying for a career in software, change it accordingly. Show up computer skills, team work, initiative etc.

16. Should I put an objective at the top of my resume or not ?
An objective is a must. It reveals your ambition. Employers don't spend more than 30 seconds going through resumes. It would be disastrous to ask him to find out your objective by going through your entire resume.

I want to work in a new field in which I have a lot of interest but little or no experience.
17. How should I design my resume ?
Work experience
This part will trigger most of the questions during the interview. Here your responsibilites, accomplishments, and professional achievements must be put down succintly. List the dates of your employment, name of the organisation, and a brief description of your accomplishments. Begin with your recent job first.

18. What if I have gaps in my employment history ?
You must be prepated to face the question at the interview. Be honest. Most interviewers appreciate this.

19. I have been working for many years, do I have to include all my jobs ?
Choose only the jobs relevant to the one applied for. Keep the resume brief. Things can be explained at the interview.

20. If I've had only one job, and it is not directly related to the job I'm applying for should I list it ?
Definitely. Put down the accomplishments in that job. This could point to the stuff you have.

Computer skills
In this 'Internet Age', computer skills are mandatory. Prospective employers would like to know what specific packages you have experience in. List the software package and the version. If you were responsible for setting up any systems, writing programs, or training employees on software, you must include that. All formal training in software packages should be listed.

This category is necessary when applying in the academic or research areas. Title of articles, magazine / news papers / journal published in should be listed. Books authored should be highlighted.

Professional Memberships
Professional licenses, memberships at professional organizations and awards received from such bodies must be listed.

For those applying for their first job, this is vital.

Start with your most recent degree first. It should include the degree awarded, major, date of graduation. High school should not be listed on a resume once you have completed a degree, unless the school where you studied is very prestigous enough to merit the attention of your employers.

In case you have done some part-time job to fund your studies, it could be mentioned here. Those who have a few years of experience must put the work education section first, if it relates to the career objective or else shift the education section below work experience. Avoid giving percentage of marks, unless its exceptional.

Just follow these steps and we are sure with your winning resume, you will get your DREAM JOB :-) Good Luck...!!!

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