How To Write A Winning Resume
Source: Open Talk Magazine 11/12/2010 22:09:00
In the job-hunting process, having a winning resume is your “foot in the door” to any career opportunity. It is meant to promote you as the best candidate for the job posted. Here are some tips to make sure your resume does its job:
Make your contact information prominent! The idea is to get your potential employer to call you. Make it easy by having this information readily available. Give your email address, mobile, and phone numbers so they have alternatives.
Keep it short. Limit your resume to two pages. Human Resources do not have the time to read anything longer than that. It’s important to make your two pages count. Think of it as a chance meeting with the company’s big boss: you have two minutes to make an impression. Make the most of it!
Leave out information that is irrelevant. Your potential employer does not need to know your weight, height, hobbies and interests. What they would like to know is what clubs and affiliations you are part of, what charity work you do, what skills you possess.
Keep it simple. Don’t jazz it up too much with graphics and elaborate fonts. Use simple, easy to read fonts. Here’s a tip: use sans serif fonts (those without the tails at the bottom) like Arial or Gill Sans for section headings. Use serif fonts (those with tails) like Times New Roman or Palatino for longer blocks of text. (The tails at the bottom of the letters make reading easier.) Use 10 or 12 point size fonts. Use at most two kinds of font—a sans serif font for the headings, and a serif font for the main body.
Use action words. They lend a dynamic quality to your resume. Action words build you up as a go-getter, an achiever. Rather than using the noun form (“duties include introduction of new sales tools”) use the active verb form (“introduced new sales tools”). It’s less wordy, too.
Use numbers. Back up your achievements with facts and figures. Instead of saying, “Increased sales of the company’s flagship brand,” say, “increased sales of company’s flagship brand by 12% from last year’s figures.” That’s even more impressive!
Highlight your achievements, but don’t embellish. Some people will argue that there’s no harm in stretching the truth, but this could hurt your credibility. Even if your embellished resume gets you an interview, it could get caught you in a lie—this could do more harm than good. Just focus on your victories and successes.
Invest in quality printing and paper. Your resume says everything about you. What you want it to convey, is that you are detail-oriented, meticulous, classy. Spend a little on good quality paper—choose something that is at least 80 GSM (grams per square meter). The higher the GSM, the thicker it is, the higher the quality. Also, make sure the printing is sharp and clean—no smudging, skipping, or fading.
Update your resume. You may not find the need for it—maybe you have a stable job, or you’re happy with your current employer, or you’re due for a promotion. In the current financial climate, you never really know what will happen next. It’s best to keep your resume current. You could use it for your next job hunt (if it comes to that). You could also use it as a sort of reference, a “journal” of your achievements. This can come in handy when seeking to gain leverage with your current employer.
Writing a great resume takes time and effort. Makes sure it represents you in the best way possible. Make sure it lets you shine.