Resume writing is a tricky business. On one hand, affording the opportunity to determine precisely the best first impression is invaluable. On the other hand, a single page to make an impression is an anxiety-driven exercise in frustration. [Please do not make your resume multiple pages. Ten years of experience is sufficient and a desired position with have a hundred resumes; you’ll move to the bottom of the pile.] Be disciplined and follow these straightforward tips to get every job you apply for, guaranteed. (Editor’s Note: This publication does not support this guarantee and thinks there are far too many factors to determine anything like this with even remote certainty.)
I will let you in on a few secrets:
1. The perfect resume is unattainable.
2. An attractive resume will not guarantee an interview.
3. Resume writing is, like most endeavors, more Sisyphus than we would like to admit.
Don’t surrender, there are still ways to make it easier and, for secrets one and two, less daunting. As for your own personal boulder, you will have to choose how many times you want to climb the hill…
Relevant work experience coupled with education/training fleshes out a resume very well. Some encourage embellishment to create the veneer of the perfect candidate, but I think it is unnecessary and dishonest. If you don’t speak Cantonese, don’t say you studied the language for four years. Besides, a good hiring manager will see through a facade during the interview and the position will go to someone qualified.
Without a large amount of relevant work experience, a relevant skill set can be emphasized. I have a section of Professional Skills I utilize in my resume. You can point out attributes you possess making you attractive to employers. If you don’t know your professional skills, self-examination is important. You will be asked similar questions in most interviews.
Another focused section to fill out a sparse or meandering resume is a Career Objective. Stating what you are looking for and why at the very top of the page can get right to the point in the way a flashy resume cannot. In addition, the section may be the only complete sentence on your resume. Communication will always be a an envied skill and displaying an ability to write well is a opportunity you would be remiss to pass up.
Having the perfect resume with background and training may still be a hindrance (i.e. Secret #2). The perfect candidate might appear transient and likely to move on to a different position sooner or too expensive for the planned budget of the position. If a hiring manager views you as overqualified, you might be passed over for the interview. This may seem silly, but it happens.
Enthusiasm and a willingness to adopt the policies and procedures of your new company is as valuable if not more valuable than a track record of displaying skills for several places. Youth relies on this truism, but a recent change in fields can offer the same opportunity. Putting yourself out there for the first time or for the first time in a long time takes courage. You showed courage, now take the recognition for it.
If you are looking for a new job or plan to look in the near future, you have not written your resume.
Resumes should be catered to a job (at least a little). The resume you turn in for one company should be altered for the next company and so on and so forth. Downloading the CV or resume templates from Microsoft Word should only serve as a jumping off point. If it was easy to create, it will show and effort matters, especially for the next potential career. If you don’t have time to create a wow-factor resume, you don’t really want a new job. Keep the sections which always impress as your resume evolves and it will be easier to turn on the wow when you need to.
Most of the time, the job description is written by the hiring manager, except in cases of talent pipelining (truly an honorable endeavor and the future of hiring). Knowing this, it is smart to borrow language from the job description and integrate it directly into your resume.
e.g. Seeking a personable teacher, well-versed in Economics with a passion for students.
School Mission: We are an equal-opportunity school with a foundation for teachers. We are expanding and seeking a team to grow with us.
Under Professional Skills, you can write: Passionate about education
As a Career Objective, you can right: Seeking a school with a strong foundation and the potential to grow with a team of like-minded teachers.
Simple, direct and subtle psychological tricks that tell the interviewer during the review, you are the type of candidate they should meet with. If you’re thinking I am above embellishment but not above inspiring projection, you’re right. The psychological shifts attention where it belongs – on how amazing you are. The embellishment puts focus on things you wish were you or what you think they want. I, like your mother, believe you are talented and deserve every opportunity to show how capable you are. Now, type to your heart’s content and practice answering interview questions in the mirror. You’re going to be great!