In writing a resume every detail contributes; it is much like writing a paper for school. Just like teachers, hiring managers look for a persuasive argument; a cohesive story; perfect spelling and grammar, and of course, a neat, well organized appearance. Hiring managers do not spend much time reading through resumes. They will probably decide within 10 – 30 seconds whether your resume is worth their time. And if they detect an error or see nothing noteworthy during that brief scan, your resume may never get a full reading.First is the contact information. You need to supply one or two telephone numbers, an address, maybe a fax, your full name and an email address. You need to be very careful with your email address; the one you use with the family or the one you used in college with some funny names may be a turn off to the hiring manager. A bad email address may make your resume look unprofessional.
Some job applicants also throw their work and education history carelessly in their resume without knowing that this is the most important part for hiring managers. Chances are, the resume will be thrown in the dust bin. It is also not advisable to list irrelevant work experience or many short term positions. Hiring managers also do not want to see large gaps in employment. In all instances, you need to be very honest but include your most recent 3 – 5 years or 3 – 5 positions you have held. Listing many positions may indicate that you are unstable. Be very careful because some hiring managers may be interested in knowing why you moved from one position or from one company to another.
Try as much as possible to relate your skills to the job you are applying for. For example, a finance job involves analytical, problem solving and numeracy skills. So you need to focus on such areas when you are applying for such a position. When applying for a marketing position, you can place much emphasis on negotiating and persuading skills. Hiring managers will be looking for candidates who have skills and experience in handling tasks outlined in their job description, as well as those who have held long term, stable positions.
You can put additional experience to give you an edge on other applicants. Include things like your voluntary work, your leadership activities or awards, in a section like this. But be careful here to focus on what really matters. It is also a good idea to list your computer knowledge and the languages you are conversant with. But remember that anything you list here may be tested instantly by your interviewer. The usual languages to mention include French, Spanish and German. Many hiring officers are interested in those who have some knowledge in the Microsoft Office package (Excel, Word, Publisher, PowerPoint, etc) and some basic web page design skills. If you have a clean driving license, it is also worth mentioning in your resume.
Stating your objective in the resume is appropriate only when you are just starting out and have not yet established yourself or when you are changing industries or careers. For those with several years of experience and established qualifications, a summary of qualifications will work better. The objective is the opening to a resume and it’s your first chance to communicate what and who you are, and how that puts you above other job applicants. Your objective should therefore describe your desired job and field and also demonstrate the relevant value you bring to the position. A good objective clarifies your education, the value you bring to the table, your experience, and the type of position and organization you’re interested in.
Although the content of your resume is very important, keep in mind that if you are applying to large company, they likely receive a large volume of resumes. In addition to the content, you will want to make sure that the overall appearance stands out. A resume with so many graphics or decorations may not appeal to the hiring officer as it will show some degree of immaturity. However, the resume should be appealing to the eye in terms of the way it is organized. Employers appreciate to see that you have taken the extra effort to apply to their company. So you don’t want to waste your solid work experience on an ugly resume. Your resume should have sections with headings that clearly indicate what the section is about. The sections should be interconnected such that when someone reads your resume it should sound like you are telling your story in an organized and presentable manner.