How to Write an Eye-Catching Resume

So you need to write a resume — maybe you are starting from scratch, or interested in revising the one you’ve already written. You may be thinking, “My resume is just one piece of paper. Is it really that important?” It is true that a resume will not necessarily land you the job, however, a poorly-written or inadequate one may cost you the job. It is the first impression that employers will have of you. The initial thirty second onceover may mean the difference between going to the bottom of the pile or receiving a call for an interview. And that is the purpose of the resume, after all — to secure you a job interview. Consider your resume an advertisement for YOU!

You want a resume that will accurately and dynamically represent you to prospective employers. This tutorial is designed to help job seekers at every point in the process create a resume that will stand out from the rest in the pile.

This one piece of paper is a distillation of your skills, education, past work experience, and abilities. Most resumes include the following basic components: personal information, profile, education/honors, work experience, and related activities or additional information. This information may be arranged chronologically or functionally. It should fit on one page (to reflect 5 years experience or less. Three pages, for fifteen years or more, is considered an absolute maximum.)

Write an Eye-Catching Resume – The Very Best Way to Begin

Before you ever even start typing your resume, you’ll need a pen and a fresh sheet of paper. Taking ten minutes to do the following self-exercise will save you agonizing hours in front of the computer wondering, “What IS my objective anyway?” This will help you to concisely and powerfully articulate your abilities, skills, and goals before you begin actually writing your resume.

Take a fresh piece of paper and jot the answers to the following:

1. Consider these areas: education, work, internships/coops, volunteer, extracurricular. Name at least five skills that you have acquired from each category. Now write one-line summaries using active words.

2. Circle the abilities listed above that you’d like to utilize in your job. Are there others that you may have overlooked? Add them to your list. Rank these skills in order of most valued to least.

3. What have been the ten greatest accomplishments in your entire life? What personal characteristic enabled you to fulfil your goals? What is your personal definition of success?

4. Have you ever invented, discovered, planned, or organized anything for your job or within your community? What was involved in these undertakings exactly?

The answers to these questions are a great starting point as you begin writing your resume. You probably won’t use all of your answers, but this exercise will allow you to focus upon the talents that you should emphasize. It will also highlight any valuable assets that don’t fit into standard categorization.

Now you are ready to write your resume. How best to show that you are someone who can get the job done? Carefully choose active, positive words to concisely describe yourself. (See the next page for suggestions.)

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