Your Resume - Resume Writing For Beginners
Write My Resume
Just how do teenagers embarking on their first work experience present themselves on paper? It would be tempting to write a resume for them, wouldn't it? Resist! This is the very best time for them to learn how to do it all by themselves. Of course you, as the parent or educator, can provide wisdom in the learning experience by helping them navigate these uncharted waters!
This article is part of a course that I taught--wrote, and taught--to a small but mighty class of tenth graders. The Class of 2014!
All six of them have varying interests, strengths, weaknesses, desires and dreams. All six of them have a sincere desire to know how the path to higher education and then the job of their dreams works.
Today, we covered "resumes".
What is a Resume?
Resume: A resume is an autobiographical document compiled by an individual with the intent of securing a new job or acceptance into an organization.
The resume lists the job seeker's basic contact information, significant work experience and educational background. In a job search, the resume is the starting point from which a potential employer will get to know you.
Hopefully, the resume will sell you well enough to lead to an interview and, eventually, a job offer.
Resume Writing Basics
Write your resume with the job position in mind. Research the specific company and the field of work that they do. Be familiar with them. When sifting through piles of resumes, they will be looking for key phrases to show them that you might be the person that they want.
Limit the information. Include the important facts about you that the potential employer needs to know. Don’t over-burden the reader with unnecessary details.
Readability. Structure your resume using an easy-to-read style. Be consistent with your formatting. If the first words of a section are in bold type, the first words in every section should be. Use spacing, bolding, italics and underlining to create a sense of order.
Accuracy: Be sure that your dates, addresses, etc. are right. Now, PROOFREAD the text. Errors in your resume implies that you will also be inaccurate or lazy when it comes to your job performance.
Write Your Resume
- First, start with your contact information: name, address, phone number and email address. Your age or birth-date are not expected to be on a resume and can work against you. Leave that out. Likewise, along with your age, your gender, religion and marital status are illegal for an employer to ask.
- Next, list professional experience. Include the most recent jobs first. Those who have years of work history should leave out the least significant items. (i.e. a civil engineer does not need to include that she was a life guard in high school.)
- Finally, add your educational background. Again, give your highest level of education first, going backward in time. Doctorate, then Masters, Bachelors, High School. If you have had professional training outside of the traditional collegiate studies which enhance your ability to do the job being applied for, add that as well.
Finishing Touches on Your Resume
Cover Letters. A cover letter for a resume should express your interest in that position and that working for that company, not just your need for a job. Say enough to show that you’ve paid attention to what they’re asking for but not so much that they toss your resume aside. If you are long-winded on paper, chances are you will be in real life. Who wants to work with someone like that?
Display: use professional resume paper or plain white. Think about the industry you’ll be working in. Which would be more appropriate?
And, where is artistic appropriate? If you are seeking a job in graphic design, theater or fashion, then a creative look can win you points. Applying for a creative job in the film industry? That might call for a video resume. Know your field.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say.
Here is what President Barack Obama's resume might have looked like, prior to his winning the Presidential Election: imaginary resume
This example is part of a great 2008 article by Ware Sykes posted on The Ladders: "Want to Know What a Great Resume Looks Like?"
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