by ResumeEdge.com – The Net’s Premier Resume Writing and Editing Service
Before you can begin to design your resume on paper, you need to have the words. Use the following twelve-step writing process to help you clarify your experience, accomplishments, skills, education, and other background information, which will make the job of condensing your life onto a sheet of paper a little easier. If you need more help, consider using a ResumeEdge professional resume writer.
Step One: Focus
Decide what type of job you will be applying for and then write it at the top of a piece of paper. This can become your objective statement, should you decide to use one, or be used in the first line of the profile section of your resume to give your reader a general idea of your area of expertise.
Objectives are not required on a resume, and often the cover letter is the best place to personalize your objective for each job opening. There is nothing wrong with using an objective statement on a resume, however, provided it doesn’t limit your job choices. As an alternative, you can alter individual resumes with personalized objectives that reflect the actual job title for which you are applying. Just make sure that the rest of your information is still relevant to the new objective, though.
Never write an objective statement that is not precise. You should name the position you want so specifically that, if a janitor came by and knocked over all the stacks of sorted resumes on a hiring manager’s desk, he could put yours back in its right stack without even thinking about it. That means saying, „A marketing management position with an aggressive international consumer goods manufacturer“ instead of „A position which utilizes my education and experience to mutual benefit.“
Step Two: Education
Under the objective on the first piece of paper, list any education or training that might relate. If you are a recent college graduate and have little relevant experience, then your education section will be placed at the top of your resume. As you gain more experience, your education almost always gravitates to the bottom.
If you participated in college activities or received any honors or completed any notable projects that relate directly to your target job, this is the place to list them.
Showing high school education and activities on a resume is only appropriate when you are under 20 and have no education or training beyond high school. Once you have completed either college courses or specialized technical training, drop your high school information altogether.
Continuing education shows that you care about life-long learning and self-development, so think about any relevant training since your formal education was completed. Relevant is the key word here. Always look at your resume from the perspective of a potential employer. Don’t waste space by listing training that is not directly or indirectly related to your target job.
Step Three: Job Descriptions
Get your hands on a written description of the job you wish to obtain and for any jobs you have held in the past. If you are presently employed, your human resource department is the first place to look. If not, then go to your local library and ask for a copy of The Dictionary of Occupational Titles or the Occupational Outlook Handbook available online at http://stats.bls.gov/oco/oco1002.htm. These industry standard reference guides offer volumes of occupational titles and job descriptions for everything from Abalone Divers to Zoo Veterinarians (and thousands in between).
Another resource available at your local library or college career center is Job Scribe, a computer software program with more than 3,000 job descriptions. Other places to look for job descriptions include your local government job service agencies, professional and technical organizations, headhunters (i.e., recruiters), associates who work in the same field, newspaper advertisements for similar jobs, or online job postings (which tend to have longer job descriptions than print ads).
The ResumeEdge Resume Center will provide you with hundreds of job descriptions taken from all of the resume samples. Simply do a keyword search for relevant job titles on the sample resume pages.
Now, make a copy of the applicable descriptions and then highlight the sentences that describe anything you have done in your past or present jobs. These job descriptions are important sources of keywords, so pay particular attention to nouns and phrases that you can incorporate into your own resume.