Creating A Winning Resume

Here are tips for creating a winning resume. Learn the keys to making a strong statement on paper.

The path of your career is greatly dependent on a single piece of paper: your resume. It is as important to a businessperson as a portfolio is to an artist. Very rarely do you get an interview before that piece of paper is assessed and approved. Your resume is a prospective employer's first impression of you and it's your strongest tool. Presenting a professional package is imperative and arming yourself with a refined resume is worth your time and effort.

Success begins with concise clarity. All of your experience, employment history, abilities and attributes need fit on one page. Gone are the days of lengthy objectives and summaries, so it's a good idea to compile an outline of the information you wish to convey.

The first section of your presentation should be work history. Your last three to four jobs is adequate, but if you feel prior history is pertinent feel free to list it off. Your most recent employer is listed first, accompanied by the dates you worked with that firm. If you just moved or have lived in many places, it's also good to include the location--city and state is all that's needed. Under the heading for that employer state your job title and responsibilities.

The second section should include a summary of your education. College, trade school and technical training are accounted for here. You'll want to list the name and location of the institutions, as well as your course of study and any degrees, diplomas or certificates attained. Refrain from listing your high school unless you've just graduated or it's the highest level of education you have completed.

Lastly, the third section addresses skills, interests and personal achievements. Although this section should take up the least amount of space on your resume, it should be packed with information. Listing computer knowledge, activities and awards helps give your resume a face and demonstrates that you are multi-faceted.

In some cases it is appropriate to also state a career objective before job experience is listed. If used, the objective should be written in an active form like: "To obtain an entry-level position in the e-commerce industry".

Getting your information organized can be quite a chore, but doing so will make writing your resume a breeze. Here are some points to keep in mind when composing the document.

Don't go nuts with underlines, italics or fonts. Keep it simple with one style. You can bring attention to key factors like names, titles and dates by formatting the text in bold or by changing the font size.

Use active language when listing off job responsibilities. By using the present tense, you are communicating that you still have the ability to perform these tasks. For example, instead of saying: "Assisted customers and wrote reports", try using: "To assist customers and write reports" or "Assisting customers and writing reports".

Write the resume like it's being read by a speed-reader because it will be. Doing this will help to keep the language concise and will prepare the document well for its purpose. Instead of using complete sentences or thoughts, whittle your words down to the most important statements.

Garnish your presentation with a logo or letterhead. This is how you give your resume personality. A little creative license can be used here, but remember you must still convey professionalism. Err on the side of caution--if you have to ask yourself if what you've concocted is appropriate, it probably isn't.

By following these guidelines, you and your resume will be set for success and it won't be long before you'll be adding your dream job to the top of the page.

© High Speed Ventures 2011