In more than 40 years in the recruiting industry it comes down to this: The interview is almost all that counts.
The interview is a highly predictable, controllable event, with only places and faces changing.
Everything else - the research, phone calls, letters, resumes - is simply back up for that crucial meeting.
Interviewing should be considered nothing more than packaging yourself for the sale.
A resume is nothing more than a tool to get yourself in the door of a prospective employer.
A good resume can help get you in, a bad resume will keep you out.
The Traditional Chronological Business Resume - Some Basics
Clear sense of who you are and what you have to offer
Where have you been and what have you done
Focus resume to the reader - specifics on experience, accomplishments, training and education
Avoid Statement of Objectives. They are usually generic, not specific or too specific. Your objective is to get an interview.
Depending on the extent of your experience, try to keep your resume to no more than two pages. Resist cluttering your resume with too many
details. Keep it short, tight, concise and to the point.
Use of general phrases like: Developed a series of...Organized several...Was responsible for a number of....Supervised x number of...Consistently
performed....Was promoted to positions of higher responsibility...
Use a standard business font - Times New Roman, Courier, Geneva, Georgia - black ink on white paper. Like interview don't create attention or
Sensible layout, 1" margins, spacing between sections, make it easy to read so the reader will key in on caps, underlining, italics or boldface type.
Name, address, phone numbers - home, work or cell- and email address centered at the top of the page.
Divide background and experience into categories: work or professional experience, education, achievements, personal and references.
Summarize experience with most current first. List employment dates with month and year, position title, company, location
Brief paragraph on what you are doing and have accomplished. Same for all relevant positions. Section must reflect who you are and what you've
done. Any reference to specific achievements in each position is important to include.
Education section should include college degree and institution with graduation date. Include any technical schools or specialized training and
Avoid personal information and hobbies, languages, travel, jogging, etc.
Do not include any information regarding marital status, age, health.
Never include references in your resume or as an attachment. Last line of your resume should be "references available upon request"
No mention of current or expected salary.
Other things to consider:
Gaps in employment - be prepared to explain - do not ever try to hide them - don't extend dates of employment to cover gaps.
Minimal related work experience - just graduating college - highlight courses, extracurricular activities that relate
Don't waste time or money with resume writing services. They charge too much and provide you with a slick, glossy impersonal resume
You are the best person to develop your resume. When someone else writes your resume - you don't come through.
Circulate a rough draft to friends for critique.
If you write a cover letter, address it to a specific individual and highlight specific information from your background and experience.
After all that, make sure your resume gets to the person that has the decision making power to actually hire you.
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