The first and often most important task of every job seeker is building a resume. There a number of types of resumes. Each has it’s purpose each has a proper use. For instance if you are student trying to get your first job, you probably don’t have much job experience so a functional resume format may work for you. If you have been working for the last 15 years with growing expertise you are probably best off with a chronological resume.
Now there are a number of sites that discuss the types of resumes for any situation. They also tell you how to create these resumes and often will give you a template. You can buy programs and hire people to write you a resume. If all else fails most any good size city will a state run economic development office where you can get help writing a resume. So I’ll leave that to you to research and work on for yourself.
Most resumes have 3 types of information, education and training, job experience and contact information. Each is important in it’s own right. Each can either help you to get the job or prevent you from getting a call. Therefore, it is important to have the right kind of info and present that information in a good format.
Obviously your contact information is important and most everyone can figure that one out but you would be surprised how many resumes have incorrect contact information. Nothing frustrates a hiring manager or recruiter more than finding a good resume and the phone number does not work or the email bounces. Double/triple check that contact information. If you have resumes out there for a while, recheck to make sure the information has been updated.
Education and Training
Every class you take and certificate you earn should be collected and kept in one folder. It is important to have dates and exact names of degrees/certificates as well as the name of the institution issuing the certificate and location of institution. Why? Because there is a little something going around called resume inflation. By some estimates 80% of all resumes have incorrect data including false information. You do not want to cause doubt about your abilities because you had a bad date or an incorrect title of a certificate.
This subject could be worthy of a subject all unto itself but for the purpose of building a resume, you need the following information at a minimum;
- Name of Company and Location of workplace
- Job Title and dates of employment
- Key Job functions and skills. This again should be kept in a folder or in electronic format. Either way, it is important to have as complete a picture as possible going back 5-7 years, 10 if possible.
If you are lacking names/dates sometimes you can get the information from you income taxes if you kept copies. If you don’t have good dates, take a couple of days to gather as much information as possible and get it down on paper. It is worth the time and trouble.
Here is one last tip for building a resume, think carefully about all the functions and skills carefully. Make yourself a list for each position, no matter how [Building a Resume] insignificant. Look through the job listings for similar positions and take the action words and skill sets from those descriptions. Add them to your list.
The reason for this exercise is that in today’s technology driven world, hiring manager and recruiters search for resumes using keywords. Often they are not very good at doing complicated searches for resumes and they take the job description, plug in a couple of keywords and let the computer do the searching.
Why is this important to you? Because if you are to be found by a hiring manager you need to have the right keywords that describe your skills and abilities. These need to match the job description so you need to help them find you by having as many keywords that describe your skills and abilities as possible. It is in your best interest to help them find you!