Creating a great resume.
Where to start? There are several ways to go about getting started with creating your resume. You could search for templates online, or use Word’s default templates … Doing so will most likely result in your resume being placed in a pile with a bunch of others.
Identifying your target.
Before writing anything or even opening your Word document, you need to know what you’re aiming for. Some things to help you identify your ideal career:
- Position / Title – what do you want to do?
- Companies / Areas – who / where do you want to work?
- Your skills / Passion – how can you help and be of value?
- Salary Expectations – how much are you worth?
When we create a resume for our customers, our first step is determining their industry or field of work. Once we have some knowledge about what the customer wants to do, and how they fit in their specific job market, we can than provide value added services.
This step will help determine how you can stand out in your field … and where to aim your resume.
Do some research.
Now that you have successfully identified your target, the next important step in creating a good resume is researching that target.
What is involved when doing this research?
1. Research the company.
Questions to ask when researching a company you want to work for.
- What does the company do or offer?
- How do they do it?
- What is the history of the company?
- What are some goals of the company?
- What does the future of the company look like from a market standpoint?
- Who works there, and do they seem happy to be there?
- Who are the leaders in the company?
This list of questions is a good start to your research process. When creating a resume for our clients, we can get some in depth information about a company and the people that work there. This helps us to better evaluate the target, and also helps you decide if it is a good fit.
2. Research your position.
This may seem pretty straight forward, but is usually a little more involved than expected. Your position is basically what you are going to be required to do for the company you will be working for.
Some questions we consider when researching a position:
- What are your day to day tasks?
- Are you on a team or working solo?
- Are there specific tools you will be required to use?
- Do you know how to use those tools?
- What part do you play in achieving the company’s goals?
- Is there specific training that will help you perform better at this role?
- What skills do you have that may help you with this role?
Now with all this information in hand, do you still think you are a good fit? Does the company and position fall within your goals for choosing a career?
Evaluate Your Skill Set
Employers hire people based on a mixture of their skills: previous jobs, qualifications, abilities, education, professional training, and knowledge. Simply put, your skills are the keys that you use to perform your job. Evaluating your skill set will help you determine your strengths, skills you didn’t know you obtained, and the job that fits you best.
Start By Listing Your Skills
Listing your skills will provide you with a pretty good idea of where you stand in the career market. Also, it gives you the opportunity to identify areas you may need to learn. Your list of skills can be used while developing your resume and help you to ace your interview. Do not leave anything out of your skills list, even if you don’t think the skills matter; all skills are transferrable. When your done with your list, place it alongside the skills necessary for the industry of interest and see how you compare.
Skills List (Example)
- Evaluated Projects
- Directed Staff
- Created New Programs
- Maintained Documents
- Analyzed Data
- Coordinated Work Schedules
- Distributed Equipment
Start Creating Your Resume
Your resume is a marketing tool. SELL YOURSELF. Summarize how your skills and abilities can be used as a benefit to any company. Draw the readers attention to the skills you can offer the company. Analyze keywords used in the career field of choice and add them to your corresponding work experience. A resume can be written as short paragraphs, 5-8 bullet statements, or short paragraphs followed by 3 accomplishment bullet statements. This is the opportunity to boast about yourself and your best qualities! Don’t forget to list your education, certifications, licenses, professional development or security clearance.
Formatting Your Resume
Writing Style: Use First Person, without using “I”, use action verbs to describe accomplishments, use present/past tense, formulate concise, short, and to the point sentences, don’t make the employer guess.
Create Visual Appeal: Demographic information centered at the top, followed by values offered, highlights of experience, education, professional development, certification & license, additional information (optional), references upon request.
Font Styles: Arial, Times New Roman, Garamond or Verdana, capitalize key areas and bold, italics (optional), use 10-12 point, double space between jobs and areas for easy reading.
Gather Your Information
Work History: Make sure to include most relevant career experience. Employers do not want to see unnecessary information.
Contacts/References: Gather previous supervisor contact information; email, phone numbers. This is important to have so you’re not hunting for it when you are asked to provide the information to new employers. Obtain at least three good references.
Skills & Abilities: Be sure to use proper terminology when identifying skills. Employers and automated resume screeners look for specific keywords that relate to your position.
Making adjustments to your resume is necessary for each position you apply for. Retarget your resume specific to the new position. Analyze the job announcement and adjust your resume accordingly.
Consider Adjusting The Following:
- Work History
- Focus On Relevant Information
- Cover Letter