Resume Writing Tips

Tips for writing a resume so that it will be noticed by a prospective employer, setting you apart from other applicants .

Having an attractive and informative resume can be the key to getting your dream job. While it is true that your qualifications should speak for themselves, often a resume that is eye catching can make the difference in getting your foot in the door. Here are some suggestions for better resume writing:

· The Header

Begin by writing the word "Resume" at the top of the page. Just below that, supply your name, home address, and phone contacts. If you have an e-mail address, include it in the header information.

Do not include your date of birth, place of birth or marital status. Employers are prohibited from asking for this information in an interview under U.S. Equal Opportunity laws. Eventually you may have to give this data on a job application but until then, keep it to yourself. If you voluntarily give out this information, your prospective employer can use it either for, or more importantly, against you.

· Objective

Include an objective after the header section. In your objective, explain what you are looking for in your next job. Keep it short but thorough. Use active verbs. For example: "To secure a position with a cutting edge firm that will utilize my extensive Internet skills". Be specific. Tailor your objective to fit the position you are applying for. You will probably want to have several different versions of your resume on file, depending on what job you are applying for.

· Experience

When listing experience, start with your present or most recent job. List the year pr range of years, your title, the company and the location in bold, underlining your title. Using active verbs, describe your duties. Avoid the phrase "responsible for". Simply tell what you do. For example: "Management of multiple high profile projects." Use past tense verbiage for past experience. If you worked in several different fields during your career, emphasize those duties, which pertain to the position you are applying for by listing them first.

Some firms prefer that you limit your resume to one page only. For many people that is virtually impossible. Therefore, your experience should only cover the past ten years.

Avoid "holes" in your experience. If a gap in your career is obvious it can be addressed in the interview. It is better to be honest than to "fudge" on experience.

· Education

List any degrees you have earned, beginning with the most recent. Include the type of degree earned, the institution it came from and the year it was attained, in bold face, with the degree type underlined. Don't clutter your resume with lists of courses unless those courses pertain to the job being applied for. Even then, show only the most important classes or certifications.

· Professional Accomplishments

Use this section for any professional organization you belong to which pertain to the prospective job. Also list here any significant awards you received, such as being named Employee of the Year. Just as in the Experience section start with the most recent award, give the year, the name of the award, the company that gave it, and why it was given. Use bold face for the year, the name and the company, and underline the award name.

· Special Skills

In some instances you may want to highlight any special skills that were not specifically covered in other sections of the resume.

· Appearance

As to the overall appearance of the resume, make sure you use plenty of white space on your page. Keep it clean and uncluttered. It is a good idea to use bold horizontal lines to separate the sections from each other. Be sure to "print preview" your resume if composing it with a word processing program so that you know exactly how it will appear on the page when printed. Always use the spell check program built into the word processor, but don't entirely depend on it to find all of the mistakes. Thoroughly proofread your finished resume and then have someone else look at is as well. Spell checking programs will not correct language usage problems. When printing your resume, consider the color and weight of the paper to be used. If you are applying for a job in an artistic field, brightly colored paper and/or eye catching type fonts may be appropriate and will serve to set your resume apart from others.

After your resume is completed to your satisfaction, turn your attention to writing the cover letter. This is by far the best device for getting your resume noticed. Write in the style of a formal business letter, addressing it to the hiring manager if possible. State what position you are applying for and give examples of how your experience makes you the best candidate for that position. Close by expressing an interest in arranging a meeting with the hiring manager at the earliest possible convenience.

Using these simple tips is sure to make your resume stand out from the crowd and position you as the best person for your dream job. Good luck!

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