Friday, January 30, 2009

Step by Step Resume

To get started you need to have all the information you can gather concerning past positions you have held including part time and volunteer activities.

Data such as start and end dates, supervisors names, average hours worked, name of company and address will be essential depending on the application process. Therefore, you should keep this information available during the entire job search.

Now you need to write down every detail you can remember about each position no matter how insignificant it may seem. Don't worry about spelling and grammar at this point, you are just getting the information.

Now arrange everything in order by getting that original data(dates, supervisors,etc) arranged in order of position. Look over what you have and start selecting action words that will begin you sentences. You want words such as increased, managed, directed, initiated, revised, etc.. The next thing you want are numbers that indicate how much effort (200 orders per day) or increase in production (form 75% satisfaction to a record 95%) or added revenue (increased the overall contract amount from $75 to $125 million per year).

You should put your resume in a format that is easy to change. You may want to change skills and some of the wording to better reflect your qualifications for certain positions you are applying for.

The most popular type of resume is the chronological. This is a list of your positions and accomplishments in order by date last to first.

You can embellish your resume but using theme paper and borders. However it is best to keep it simple though professional.

Start with the contact information including your name, address, phone number and alternate phone number, email address and if you wasted money paying for a company to do your resume for you, the web address where they say you can view your resume.

Next list your key skills. Don't over do it. Just list a few and focus on the skills needed for the job you are applying for at the time. Depending on the position, it may be necessary to revise your resume to better reflect the skills for a particular position as I mentioned above.

Now for the meat of the resume. Starting with your current or last position list the following information:

- Company name and position held

- Start and End dates

- Company City and State

- A brief description of your duties. Just two or three lines.

- Now list two or three accomplishments in bullet statement form under the position description

Do this for each position held covering at least the last 10 years if you've been working that long. If you have held several positions in the same company, it is not necessary to separate them into different positions but you do want to show any advancement within the organization. This can be done by using the bullet statement format.

Make sure you include the part time and volunteer work you did if any.

Now list any licenses or certifications that pertain to the position you are applying for.

At the end you can put your education accomplishments. Keep it simple list only the name of the institution, the year of graduation and the degree or major.

It is not necessary to list "References Available Upon Request". It is assumed that if they request references you will be able to provide them when asked. Make sure you do keep a current list of references both professional and personal with you at all times. Also make sure that you notify people that you have used them for a reference.

That's pretty much it. You can find sample formats in various books or on web sites. Just pick something that is clean, simple and professional looking. Most resumes can be created using readily available tools in Microsoft Word or other such products.

You will want to have plenty of copies of your resume available as well as a general cover letter that highlights certain skills and accomplishments. Try not to use the same information as in the resume.

you will want to save two copies on your computer, one as a .doc or word document and the other as a .text document. Often when you are applying on the Internet you cannot copy and paste a word document so it helps to have them both available. Also review the .text document after you save it to check for formatting errors. When you copy and paste your resume always use the "preview" option as the sites sizing requirements may adjust the location and order of some of your text.

Good Luck!!

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