Ways to Build a Winning Resume

What is a Resume? 

A resume is a summary of background, skills and qualifications, which is sent to employers for review. Consider it to be your personal brochure with the goal of getting the employer's attention and giving them the information they need to bring you to the next step in the hiring process......THE BIG INTERVIEW! Because your resume is the first impression an employer has of you, it is important that it is well written and formatted in a way that yells "I am professional and organized!" . This will greatly improve your chances of receiving a call back. 

There are some things you need to do to prepare for writing a resume: 


1. Self assess - make a list of all past success and achievements. These achievements may be academic, volunteer activities work experience, hobbies and the like. Once you have your list....narrow it down to things that would be important ot the potential employer to whom you are applying.  After your assessment is complete, write a headline rather than an objective. Tell the employer exactly what you plan to do to enhance the company and/or the position for which you are applying. 

2. Make sure your resume "fits" the job -  Americas Job Exchange say's, hiring managers look for unique skills sets for every job opening and will focus on candidates that have those specified skills.

** Mirror the keywords that are being used within the job description itself **

3. Get your dates straight - potential employers are prone to ask you about your employment history once you have advanced to the interview stage, so make sure the dates and information pertaining to your work history is accurate so that you are not providing conflicting information to the interviewee. 

4. Have a record of certifications and license numbers - If you are applying to a position that requires some type of verifiable credential, having the numbers available on the resume, will allow employers to validate that you are qualified for the position, saving them valuable time. Employers appreciate the little details. 

5. Make sure your resume is free from grammatical errors and typos -  According to a 2013 Career Builder survey, 58% of employers identified resumes with typos as one of the top mistakes that led them to automatically dismiss a candidate. 

6. Create different resumes for different employers - There are no two positions that are exactly alike so your resumes should not be exactly alike either. Generic resumes are dismissed by 36% of employers according to Job Board Surveys, therefore using templates may help with the formatting, however, make changes that tailor your resume to you. 

7.  Offer Up the Info - Give the employer as much information about you and your accomplishments as you can. Do not submit resumes with vague information. If you raised money, specify how much. If you increased sales, or achieved academic excellence, give numbers that may be later verified. 

8. Save/Use space as required - For new college graduates a resume should typically be 1 page long, and 2 pages long for more seasoned workers. If you must condense your employment history and skills into less space, only go back 5 years, anything more should be written on the application. 

9. Use exact dates - Attendance, Reliability and work ethic go hand in hand therefore telling an employer that you worked for a company from xx/xx/xxxx - xx/xx/xxxx is better than just a year and date. Why? Because it allows employers to see gaps in employment and may appear to them as if you are trying to cover something up. If there is a large gap in your employment history, be sure to address this in your cover letter. 

10. SEND A COVER LETTER - Your cover letter is just as important as your resume because it allows you to target the job and employer in a very specific way. A cover letter should not just repeat your resume, but should tell the potential employer why you want to work for the employer. This is going to require research on the company, but hey, if the job is one you are looking to hold for a significant amount of time, that research serves your purposes as well.


Next Week’s Blog....... "THE INTERVIEW"