Your Resume the Key to new Opportunities!!
Your resume, think of it as the key to opening doors to new possibilities and opportunities. So given it is the key, you should probably learn how to write a great resume. First there are 3 main styles of resumes:
Chronological Resume: A chronological resume starts by listing your work history, with the most recent position listed first. Employers typically prefer this type of resume because it’s easy to see what jobs you have held and when you have worked at them.
Functional Resume: A functional resume focuses on your skills and experience,
rather than on your chronological work history. It is used most often by people
who are changing careers or who have gaps in their employment history.
Combination Resume: A combination resume lists your skills and experience
first. Your employment history is listed next. With this type of resume, you can
highlight the skills you have that are relevant to the job you are applying for,
and also provide the chronological work history that employers prefer.
So which do you choose? For me, I prefer the Combination, or as I call it “the best of both worlds”.
The first resume you write should be what I call your “uber resume” (also known as “Resume Journaling”). This means you write a resume that includes everything you ever did, even if it is an additional job or duty. This resume will be way more than the recommended 1-2 pages long (if you have only been in the workforce for a short time it might be shorter). This resume will be updated constantly to capture everything you have ever done. To do this you will need to gather every piece of information you can. Things to gather:
- School transcripts
- Training certificates
- White Papers, patents, books, and blogs you have written
- Old resumes
- Any other information that can provide information and data for your resume
So now time to write, or actually type. Make sure you pick an easy-to-read font and seize and make sure you save it in multiple formats to include text. The reason is some sites will allow you to upload a resume but only in certain formats. When writing it, as a minimum you should include the following; name, email address, phone number, and if you have it your LinkedIn profile. As to address or more, be careful, as there are those who will use that info to steal your identity.
When writing your resume make sure to utilize clear measurable achievements. For example do not just say “increased hiring”, instead say “increased hiring 50%”. This not only states what you did, but gives a clear, measured, and quantifiable number that potential employees can wrap their arms around. Also, remember when writing it in allot of cases it will end up in an “applicant tracking system” where it will be searched on. When it is searched for it will be searched for based on the buzzwords that are appropriate for the job, so be sure you include them in your resume. This includes software, skills, attributes, and industry buzzwords.
Also when writing your resume you need to use action words, when possible. Below are a few, not all, but a few action words you can use.
So now you have this big, long “uber resume”. So what’s next? Next, you start applying to jobs, and you copy out of your “uber resume” the parts that are specific to the job you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a recruiting job, you copy out the recruiting-specific portions of your “uber resume” thus creating a “recruiting resume”. Now you have a recruiting-specific resume that can be used for applying to recruiting jobs and it was all quick and easy as cut and paste. Remember to try to keep it to no more than 2 pages. The key is “try”, if you have enough experience and it goes longer, so be it.
Besides a resume, you will need, a cover letter and thank you notes.
A cover letter is a letter that introduces you more formally, announces your candidacy, and should provide some information that is not in your resume about how you qualify for the position.
Suggested cover letter layout:
- List your name, email address, and telephone number with the area code at the top of the page.
- Address the cover letter to a specific person if possible.
- First paragraph: Begin with an introduction paragraph to explain how you learned about the job or the company. (Job fair, newspaper, friend.) Name the specific position that you are applying for.
- Second paragraph: Briefly write up your skills to aim toward the open position and explain what you can bring to the job. Do not simply repeat the information in your resume. Be creative when explaining why you are the best job match. The goal of the cover letter is to encourage the employer to read your resume.
- Third paragraph: Explain the next action you will take. For example, I will telephone in one week to follow up on this position. Be sure to thank the employer for their time, stating that you look forward to interviewing with them.
- Close and sign your letter. For example:
Your handwritten signature (if being mailed or handed in person)
Type your name
Ok, you know how to write a resume and a cover letter. Now for the final piece, the thank you note for after-interviews of any kind. The thank you note should be short, concise, and above all appreciate their time. General guideline:
- Thank you for taking the time to interview
- Statement of how you feel you fit after the interview and the information you found out via the interview
- A wrap-up such as; “I look forward to hearing from you”.
- Your name
So there you have it, you are fully armed to write your resume, cover letter, and thank you notes. Time to start posting and applying and finding your new job.