Saturday, August 29, 2009
Resume Writing Tips
What are the 3 essential components your resumes must utilize immediately for you to avoid the "reject" pile and to hear the golden words "you're hired." Are you using these resume writing tips in your job search? Are you going to get that coveted handshake or pound the pavement some more? If you need free resume writing help, free sample resumes, or free sample cover letters, jump in
· The following method for writing resumes and cover letters can aid in your quest for gainful employment, during and after graduation.
1) In an effective resume the applicant must show, not just describe, their abilities and experience. You want to demonstrate, not simply list, the exact results you have achieved at your previous jobs. You should present yourself as a "resource person," a "can-do" type of individual, not as someone begging for a job.
2) Keep the resume short; one page is ideal, two is the maximum. The paragraphs and sentences should be short and concise. Be sure, however, not to leave out the precise details regarding your experience. Any proofreading errors of grammar, punctuation, or spelling are absolutely unacceptable. Such mistakes will only result in your resume getting placed in the "reject" pile.
3) The resume needs to be well organized and contain only relevant information; do not confuse the employer with a crazy jumble of data. Include no photos, fancy frills, or previous salary information. There are four recognized methods of organizing your resume: the chronological, the targeted, the functional, and the creative or alternative resume. Whichever format you prefer, all resumes should include the following: personal information such as name, address, and telephone number; career objective; education; work experience; skills, activities, and honors; and (optional) a statement that references are available upon request.
a) The CHRONOLOGICAL RESUME:
This type of resume gives a chronological list of your employment history, in jobs relating to the position for which you are applying. Put your name, address, area code and phone number at the top of the page, centered. Skip several spaces and list your work history under the title "EMPLOYMENT HISTORY," all in capitals and underlined, flush with the left margin. On the next line, type the years you worked, then type the employer's name, all in uppercase. Next list your job title, and the city and state of the employer. It is not necessary to list the exact address of your former employer. On the next line, tab a space and give details about your duties in this job. Remember to select only those details that best relate to the position for which you are applying.
The next category will be your "AWARDS AND MEMBERSHIPS," all in uppercase and underlined. List any award distinctions and affiliations.
Then move to the "EDUCATION" section, again all in capitals and underlined. List the year you graduated, the name of your school, and the degree you received. If you are a college graduate, your high school information is no longer relevant.
The final section is "PERSONAL." Keep this information to a minimum; list your date of birth if you wish, and any hobbies or pursuits only if they relate to your desired position. You would be wise, however, to leave out information on your sex, weight, and health.
Do not list specific references; instead put "References available upon request" centered, at the end of the resume. Some contemporary resume mavens recommend against this statement on references, since employers are already aware of this fact. At least have these references ready to fire off; if you make the grade they probably will be requested.
B) The TARGETED RESUME:
This type of resume targets a specific kind of job. Center your name, address, area code and phone number at the top of the page. Then list and fill in the following categories, following the format described above: JOB OBJECTIVE, ABILITIES, ACHIEVEMENTS, EMPLOYMENT EXPERIENCE, AWARDS and MEMBERSHIPS, EDUCATION, and PERSONAL.
Under the job objective category, remember to describe the position you desire in general, not specific terms. For instance, if you wanted to get hired as an assistant editor at Publishing Company XYZ, do not write "Job Objective: English B.A. seeks assistant editor position at Company XYZ," write instead "English B.A. seeks assistant editor position in magazine publishing field."
C) The FUNCTIONAL RESUME
will present your experience in several different work areas. Center your name, address, and number as described above. Then list the categories "WORK AREA 1," "WORK AREA 2" and so forth (fill in the category with the specific names of the work areas in which you have experience). Then list the categories for your experience, education, and personal information.
D) The CREATIVE or ALTERNATIVE RESUME
is for applicants who march to a different drummer. It is ideal for creative fields like the fine arts, advertising, promotions, and so forth, but not so advisable for more conservative fields like commerce, banking, and industry.
Center your name, address, and number as in the previous examples. Under the category of "EXPERIENCE," list the employers you worked for, and the years during which you worked. What makes this resume "creative" or "alternative" is that you will describe your job duties and accomplishments with TEXT descriptions. Write full, descriptive sentences in this section, unlike the phrases you would use in the former examples.
The next section is for "EDUCATION," followed by the optional section "REFERENCES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST," centered in the middle of the page.
Free Cover Letter Writing Help
These free cover letter writing help tips reveal how to give employers what they want when they decide who to grant an interview.the reject pile and hear the words "You're hired"?
Every cover letter should be brief, and the applicant must remember that the letter's sole purpose is to get an invitation for an interview. Give only the qualifications specified in the advertisement, otherwise volunteer no information. As with the resume, the letter must contain absolutely no proofreading errors, no mistakes of grammar, punctuation, or spelling. Use of "white-out" is unacceptable.
These are the components every successful cover letter should follow:
a) Identify yourself to the employer, name the contact person by name (Mr. or Ms. X) and state your objective for writing. Your goal is solely to stimulate the interest of the employer.
b) Express why you're writing to the employer, and present areas of mutual interest between yourself and the employer. Be personal but not chummy. Use the words "I" and "you" to establish rapport. Write in a language that will be readily understood by the employer. Demonstrate your special talents and expertise that relate to the desired position. Remember to come across as a "resource person," not as someone begging for a job.
c) Summarize any relevant education and experience that relate to the position.
d) Close the letter with a suggested course of follow-up action. Your goal is to get called for an interview, so state it. Say that you will call back at a specific time, generally a week after the letter is received.
e) Sign off with an appreciative statement such as "Sincerely yours" or "Cordially yours." Remember that the cover letter must have a meticulous appearance. The typing and printing must be perfect, as well as the proofreading. Be concise throughout the letter, and keep your focus not on yourself but on the employer's wants and desires. Never lie or exaggerate, don't put yourself down, and don't be obnoxious.
The Thank You Letter
When your cover letters and resumes achieve their desired effect - getting you the interview - do not neglect to send "thank you" notes to the person who interviewed you. On no account send these notes in a form letter; be sure to personalize them. Handwritten letters are best. Follow this procedure for a successful thank you letter:
1) Thank the interviewer, and express interest once again in obtaining the position.
2) Explain why you are a good candidate; refresh the interviewer's memory by mentioning something specific from your exchange during the interview.
3) Thank the interviewer again, and say that you look forward to hearing from them.