The Resume Your Way
If there is no perfect resume, how can you hope to create a document that all employers would want to see? The answer comes from a change in emphasis. Stop thinking about resumes any way, designed to present yourself as you think an employer would want to see you. Start writing resumes your way.
A good resume presents your past achievements as well as the assets and capabilities that qualify you for this new job. As you get better at communicating your qualifications, you will approach the job of writing your resume with confidence. The seven steps to success are good guidelines, and they should inspire confidence. But before you start writing, it is also a good idea to understand the different types of resumes and the purposes they serve. The following sections describe some traditional types and formats of resumes.
Chronological, Functional, and Combined Resumes
Be careful about using a functional resume. Almost all inquiries to prospective employers reveal that this format is ineffective and difficult to review. According to studies and polls, the pure functional resume format is the least preferred. To strengthen your functional resume, link each of your job skills to a particular position or responsibility. Tell your prospective employer where and how you used your skills.
Targeted and Customized Resumes
Recent resume guides use words like
Many large employers now use software programs to help them sort through the volume of resumes they receive. A targeted approach will help your resume appear in keyword searches done by recruiters or the services they employ. Post a targeted resume on job boards; recruiters often search the boards for potential job candidates.
Combinations, Permutations, and Confusion
Some guides advise you to include all the schools you attended. Some suggest you include only those schools where you were conferred a degree. Many books and articles emphatically suggest that you list courses, while as many others strongly urge you not to because your potential employers will already have a good idea of what courses someone with your major took. Some suggest you present all scholarships and honors, no matter how small, because the longer the list, the more impressive it is to potential employers. Still others encourage you to present a selected list of scholarships and honors. But when it comes to grades, everyone agrees: Only include good grades and averages!
Advice regarding experience is equally conflicted. Some say describe all jobs — no matter how small — in active terms, in hopes that some of those verbs will catch a prospective employer's eye. Others state with conviction that you should only include impressive jobs. Should you list volunteer and community service experience? Some say yes, but some say no; the same goes for personal interests. In years past, the phrase “References available upon request” indicated the standard close of the resume. Most resume professionals now omit this phrase and see it as unnecessary.
The Modern Resume Your Way
As you focus on your chosen career field and articulate your abilities, your resume writing and your job search will be inspired. A resume that projects “me and my goals” will strengthen the rest of your job search; it will also have an impact on the outcome. Keep your goals firmly in mind; they will enhance the power and purpose of your resume. Plan and implement strategic actions.
Goal setting is critical to all resume-writing and job-search efforts. Overall, goal development and articulation are the most crucial components of resume writing and your comprehensive job search.