In today's competitive job market, a first class resume is an essential tool for winning an interview. The way in which you present your skills, achievements and experience on paper will profoundly affect way in which a hiring company considers your application.
An expertly crafted resume not only captures attention of its reader through careful attention to layout and formatting; it also targets specific needs of potential employer by matching and highlighting your abilities and background to key requirements of position.
So what exactly is 'perfect resume'?
It's well-nigh impossible to get recruitment professionals to agree on this. For example, take vexed question of 'resume objective'. Some employers prefer to see a clearly stated objective as evidence of a candidate's career focus; others consider including an objective to be a restrictive practice -- or worse, little more than vague waffle.
So in pursuit of a truly personalized resume, it's hardly surprising that effective practice differs from applicant to applicant -- and what suits one job-hunter may not work so well for another.
And while it's impossible to lay down hard and fast rules of best practice in resume writing, it's a whole lot easier to identify some of habits that can turn recruiters right off -- perhaps even sabotage a candidate's chances from start!
In this article, I've collected some of these common resume blunders -- so if you're looking to upgrade your resume, here's a checklist of seven easy ways to start!
1. Don't rely on a 'one size fits all' resume
If your resume is going to get you interviews you deserve, it needs to focus on particular demands of job. So unless your field is very narrow, it's likely that you'll need to adapt your resume to each specific application.
To help you target your resume, try answering these questions: • you're thinking of applying for a job; what would perfect applicant be like? • what are their most important characteristics? • what skills and attributes do they possess?
When you profile 'ideal candidate' in this way, you're putting yourself in employer's shoes: thinking first about what matters to them and imagining what they'll be looking for when they make a short list from all applications they'll receive.
This is a really useful exercise to help you decide which of your own abilities and achievements to spotlight in your resume.
2. Make sure you include complete contact information
Your cover letter may get separated from resume. Don't blithely assume that because your address and telephone number are in cover letter, they don't need to be on resume as well -- they do!
If employer wants to get hold of you, they'll likely use phone. So ensure that you give a personal number (including area code) where you can be reached during day or where messages can be left. Include a cell phone number and e-mail address where possible.