Sunday, November 30, 2008

Layout of Your Resume

Layout of Your Resume

On this site we aim to bring you all the Resume writing tips, facts and secrets of the experts so that you won't make the common mistakes and let yourself down when it comes to writing your Resume or CV.

We are going to show you exactly what you need to do and how to write a Resume and win your dream job.
Don't be put off by the task, it will be worthwhile. With the information provided for you on this site you will be able to write a Resume that you will be proud to send out any prospective employer. In fact it will be so good that you will want to show it to everybody you know!
LayoutA good layout will have plenty of relevant detail but still shows lots of white space so it is not too off-putting to the reader. Notice that the most prominent item is the NAME helping it to be remembered.
Take a look at this as a recommended style of 2-page Resume layout.

Street address, telephone and email contact details all at the top.
An introductory paragraph helps the reader to know about your level of work, your sectors and highlights your key skills.
Career section clearly starts with previous employer and job title on the left with dates on the right margin.Follow this with a section of 'Achievements' focused on your outputs and value-added.

Repeat for each of your previous employments, reducing the level of detail. But aim for no more than two pages. Page two continues to go further back into your history, but anything older than say 10 years becomes less relevant other than as a record. Older employments can just be entered with name and dates for the record.
Now enter your Professional Qualifications and Memberships with appropriate dates.
A summary of specialist skills such as Operating Systems, foreign or computer languages or other areas that bring depth to your Resume can be added at this point.
If you can achieve a clear layout like this you are on the way to an interview-winning Resumé and getting the dream job you desire.

Getting Started on Your Resume

Getting Started on Your Resume
It’s not always possible to get it onto two pages but it really is worth the effort to do so. Be ruthless with your editing - you’re not trying to include everything you’ve ever done; in fact if you do then you’ll probably end up disguising the very things they need to see. So keep it to as few words as possible.
What you see in the Resume detail on this page is a very clear two-page layout; there’s plenty of detail but it is not packed so tight that it becomes an effort to read.
What you are also seeing is a real CV which I produced for a client in January. Only the name has been changed to protect the innocent!
He admitted to being sceptical about the value of having his Resume professionally prepared but wanted to 'give it a go' because his own Resume was getting him nowhere.
Within two days this new professionally prepared Resume produced a stream of interviews and he is now considering offers.
Let’s Get Started

The Resume starts with your name written very clearly and prominently at the top of the page using Arial and 16 to 20 point font size. Follow this with ALL of your contact details so they don't have to search for them, if they can’t see how to reach you right away they might not bother. Include all your phone numbers; any email addresses where you can be reached and your street address. A quick call or email may be needed to clarify a point and could influence whether they want to see you. I suggest you use Arial size 10 or 11 point font. Never go smaller than 10 as it gets too hard for some people to read.
Make sure there is plenty of white space on the page. Then insert a three to four line summary statement about your level of work, sectors and key skills.

As an example a Project Supply Manager's statement could read:
“Qualified Project Management Professional (PMP) highly experienced in managing people, the associated professional services, suppliers and technology for multiple national and international large-scale projects in the telecoms, engineering and public sectors. Excellent financial budgeting analysis and management; business case and business plan development.”

An Engineer might write:
"Chartered Professional Engineer, with strategic and operational achievement in Engineering, Production and Quality management roles; Excellent track record in blue chip international organization and in FMCG, Food and Manufacturing environments."
More examples follow:

An Accounts Assistant could say:
"Experienced accounts assistant capable of handling both the Purchase ledger and the Sales ledger duties in an international trading company. Regular liaison with customers and suppliers; always hard working, adaptable and enjoys a challenge."

An IT Manager:
"Senior IT Manager experienced in formulating and negotiating commercially sound solutions for a large number and range of projects, services and technologies; well developed inter-personal skills, motivation and team building, with an analytical and investigative approach to work."
A Commercial Manager could write:
"An experienced commercial manager with a broad European business background; skilled in development areas such as new start-ups and joint ventures. Fully accountable and responsible to Board for both regulated and non-regulated businesses where risk management and cost control are critical."
Identify your (most recent or current) employer with dates. Don’t bother about the months unless it’s just a short period. Use the same font and point size as above but make it bold. Employers check dates so make sure they add up.

Job TitleShow your job title on a separate line and make that bold as well.
Side Note If your actual job title is one of those wonderful but meaningless titles, change it to something that everyone will understand for the CV. You can explain at interview "my real job title was..."

See u on top reall soon!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

You and your dream job

Getting a dream job is the desire of many,still many dont know how to get this done.Below are a list of this you should or shouldn't do.Wishing you all the luck in your job hunt.Congrats in advance and would love to hear from you when that job comes.

No matter how many firms I apply to, I constantly get rejections despite being on track to get a good degree and from a good university. What am I doing wrong?

Cover letters
Graduate recruiters will pass over your application unless you tell them why they should employ you; this is best done in the cover letter. Bullet points make good reading as they show clarity of thought, break down the job description by bullet points and match each one with your suitability. Explain why you have decided to apply for this particular job, why you will be good at it and the reason you want to work for them and not their competitors.

Vague job descriptions - my qualifications aren't up to it, should I apply anyway?

Cover letters

Anything expressed as a minimum in a job description means just that, so if a minimum grade or qualification is required it means that recruiters are unlikely to consider candidates that don't have exactly what's specified. However, an overlap of skills, experience, qualifications and attributes is normal. This means that if you have a lower grade of qualification than the one advertised but some related experience it may still be worth applying. In all cases list what your relevant attributes are and they match the minimum requirements high up in your cover letter starting with your strongest. If you're really unsure as to what the recruiter is looking for, email them and ask for further information.

A lot of people tell me I have to exaggerate the truth in my CV to get on, and that everybody else is doing it anyway so I'd be daft not to join in.

Concentrate on writing a compelling profile (description of your attributes) at the start of your CV and you won't have to lie about your qualifications, skills or grades. It's fine to promote why you'd be a good hire, but you don't need to lie to do that; just think of your job application or CV from the recruiter's perspective.

Can potential employers demand that I take a drugs test?

Yes employers can demand that you take a drugs test, but they need to publish or inform candidates that this is a requirement. It is common to test for drugs in industries where candidates work with pharmaceutical or biochemical products, finances or with young or vulnerable people. The armed and emergency forces and the prison service are also increasingly using drugs tests.

I was too busy studying and then went travelling after uni. Everybody bangs on about work experience - what can I do?

Checking your work experience is an easy way for employers to figure out what you'll be like as an employee. However, you can get around having limited or no work experience by describing yourself from an employer's perspective. The best way to do this is in the 'profile' section of your CV. If you've been travelling you may well be adventurous, independent and self-motivated, if you travelled in a group perhaps you are also sociable and a good team player. Employers recognise that many of the skills you develop whilst travelling can easily be transferred to the workplace. For more advice on gap year travel see To gap or not to gap.

How long should my CV be?

On average recruiters take 8 seconds to decide whether to screen a CV in or out. Keep your CV punchy and stick to the job of selling your abilities. Ideally it should be no more than two sides of A4 paper long. If you have recently graduated highlight your subject and course grades, also detail your dissertation or final year project describing its focus and how you went about completing it. Caroline Buckingham, Pro-Active Resourcer at Microsoft UK has the following tips: "As you can imagine we get hundreds of CVs submitted to Microsoft every day, therefore it's very important for a candidate to really think about their CV before they submit it. Keep it clear, to the point and highlight all the relevant skills needed for the job you are applying for. You may need to change each CV for every position you apply for as this will ensure you are tailoring your CV to the needs of the job.

"Should I include a photo or personal details in my CV?

There is no requirement to include marital status (this may not be the case for Nigerian employers), your vital statistics, or a photo in your CV as it's not relevant to your suitability for jobs. The exception are jobs where you wouldn't be considered unless you have certain attributes e.g. appearing on a reality TV singles show! Any unusual requests should be stated and explained in the job description. You don't have to justify life style choices; suitability for the role in question is all that a recruiter should be interested in.

How do I get good work references if I've been at university and don't have work experience?

If this is your first job references from tutors, mentors, or friends (preferably those that work in business) are fine. You don't need to stipulate who your referees are on your CV or job application, just put at the bottom of your CV that you do have referees available to be contacted if necessary. If your future employer (or college) wants to take up references, warn your referees and find out how they would prefer to be contacted. If your prospective employer wants to call your referees agree a time. You don't want your referee to get called mid-way through their weekly shop!

Qualified but lacking in experience?

If you have the qualifications, but lack the experience, consider advising or working (part-time) with local businesses to build up your experience. Diversity or breadth of experience matters more than length of time. You will demonstrate enthusiasm and perseverance to your prospective employer and these personality facets add value to an organisation.

Best wishes and get that dream job soon.