Writing a Résumé - Basic Tips
By Melanie Winograd
There are a variety of legitimate and appropriate styles and formats for a résumé or CV, and many of the choices and options are a matter of personal taste. You can choose a particular font, you can enclose your résumé in a folder or print it on one sheet of paper, or you can use "bullets" to outline your points. Those differences are important as they help the Hiring Manager actually "read" the résumé and differentiate from the "riff raff". In addition to the layout, the actual content and information you provide to a potential employer is crucial.
Here are four simple tips to help you write a better résumé and land a better job:
1. Check for typos.
Misspelled words, incorrect grammar, and other typos not only look unprofessional; they reveal a lack of attention to detail and carelessness. They can sink your chances of landing the job. Have a professional proofread your résumé, to ensure that it is polished to perfection.
2. Send it to the right person.
One of the most common résumé mistakes is not in the writing of the résumé or CV, but in the distribution of it. Find out who makes the decisions at the company where you are applying, and make sure that they get the résumé. Otherwise it might wind up on the wrong desk, and then get transferred into the trash bin.
3. Put yourself in their shoes.
If you put yourself in their shoes, would you give yourself the job? Think about what the company wants and why they need to hire you, more than about what you want from the company. By seeing the hiring process from that perspective, your résumé will reflect the same perspective as the person who is reading it. Because your résumé resonates with how they think, chances improve that you'll be chosen.
4. Be ready to respond if you are granted a follow-up interview.
Be prepared for the interview, because if the résumé is out there circulating, you may get a call. If you have to scramble around at the last minute to update your wardrobe or practice your answers to interview questions, you won't be prepared mentally. Learn about the company, key players, competition and other industry information that will make you look (and feel) prepared. Plan ahead, be ready, and then be calm when it really counts.
Perhaps the most important aspect of résumé planning is setting aside the time to do it right. We live in a busy world, and if you are already juggling a job and other responsibilities, a résumé project may be hard to fit into your schedule. Hire a pro if it helps. After all, you're hoping that some pro will hire you, and a good résumé is the key.
About the Author
If you're looking for a pro to review or write your résumé or practice interviewing, go to http://www.CareerMogul.com and work with your own professional Career Coach today.
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