Your resume (or curriculum vitae), combined with cover letter, are master keys to opening prospective employer's mind and door so that you can proceed to next step in process - big interview!
RESUME WRITING TIPS AND STRATEGIES
Here are 10 valuable tips for anyone writing their own resume, or who is having someone else write one for them. These tips and strategies are an abridged version of what is contained in my new eBook, "Instant Home Writing Kit".
1. Keep It Focused and Businesslike
A resume should be specific and all business. Don't try to be too smart or too cute. After all, you are asking an employer to invest significant time and money by choosing you over many other similarly qualified people. Employers mainly want to know whether you are appropriately qualified and experienced, and if you have ability to "deliver goods."
2. More Than Two Pages Is Too Much
For students, recent graduates, or people with just a few years of experience, try to keep your resume to one page, two as an absolute maximum. Even a resume for someone with 20 years or more of extensive working experience, should not exceed three pages. In some cases, one or two "optional" pages can be referred to as "available upon request." These would be such optional annexes as a list of references or an inventory of recent projects and/or publications.
3. Get The Words and Punctuation Right
Make sure grammar, spelling, and punctuation in your resume are perfect. Any obvious mistakes will hurt your credibility. Also, be sure to keep language clear and simple. If you draft it yourself, have someone with excellent writing skills do an editorial review and a careful proofread of it. If a professional prepares it for you, such reviews are responsibility of resume preparation firm. Use an accepted English language "style guide" if you want to be sure of finer points of word usage, punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations, etc.
4. Read Between The Lines
Customize resume to match stated requirements of job that you are applying for, without being misleading. Review and analyze job advertisement carefully. Look for and itemize key qualifications, skills, and abilities employer is seeking. Then identify certain key words that are usually repeated in such ads. Make sure that wording and sequence of points in your resume reflect and address these "corporate terminologies" and "code words" as much as possible. When possible, study company's annual report and Web site, and weave themes and terms found there into your resume and cover letter.
5. Make Sure It Looks Good
Use a crisp, clean, simple presentation format for a professional looking resume. Just a bit of simple line work and/or shading, done with standard word processing software will do trick. If you don't have aptitude for this, there is most likely someone among your friends or in your office who can help you achieve a professional presentation. If not, seek professional advice. It won't cost much for a good simple layout, but it will make a world of difference to product.