Writing the knockout resume
Resumes are at the heart of the application process. A great resume is your key into the company. With the right work history, education and skills, your resume gives you a chance to shine and serves as a tool to sell yourself to a potential employer. It is your chance to stand to stand out from hundreds of other applicants.
Resumes are also difficult to write. Resumes are several years of your life cut down and summarized into only one or two pages. For your resume to be successful, you need to make sure that every word serves a purpose. You are using your resume to sell yourself to the company like you are marketing a product. Everything the employer reads should be furthering that goal.
Parts of a Resume
- Objective Statement
- Work Experience
- Volunteer Experience (optional)
- Awards and Associations (optional)
- Skills/Professional Summary (optional)
Resumes should have a strong objective. If you look at resume examples, you will see countless examples of good objective statements. Objectives should not discuss making money or getting hired by the employer. They should have a clear and defined goal that shows a dedication to both your career and the company.
Work experience is the most important part of a resume. Employers are not looking to see how many jobs you have had. What employers want to see on your resume is examples of action. Your resume should describe what you performed and what you accomplished in a way that is relevant to the job you are applying for. Resumes that are able to show employers how well you fit the role help guarantee an interview.
Different fields have different types of language that should be incorporated into each resume. It is useful to view resume examples for each type of field to get an idea of how to word your own resume. Ideally, resumes should be crafted toward the specific open position.
Education is an important part of your resume. The education section of your resume should not focus on the basics (GPA, etc.). Instead, your resume should focus on what you created that are relevant to the role and the activities you participated in during your time in college.
Optional Sections – Volunteer and Awards
Both the volunteer experience section and the awards section of your resumes should only be placed in your resume if the experiences are relevant for the job. Non-profits value all volunteer experience, while sales jobs may not. In the interests of keeping your resume in the space allotted.
Optional Section – Professional Summary
You may also want to consider a professional summary. Many jobs have moved to automated programs that search through resumes for keywords. Professional summaries should not be placed on printed resumes.