How to Compose the Perfect Resume

Generic Resume from Wikipedia
Generic Resume from Wikipedia | Source

Prologue

First of all, the adjective 'perfect' is mostly used in slang/vernacular nowadays i.e. what is perfect for you, may be imperfect for someone else or vice versa.... - A few years ago, a good friend of mine, wanted to look for a new job and came to me and said, "I want to write a good resume and look for a new job." I directed her to Google search and to type 'resume' and see what pops up. Being curious, I decided to search Google for resumes as well. I've never hesitated stepping up to the plate to help a friend in need. I saw umpteen sample resumes and after reading, researching, editing, etc., I came to the realization that the more 'eye catching' and popular resumes didn't always contain correct grammar or punctuation. I was perplexed by this phenomenon, but came to understand it in my own terms. I then started to think of two writers of the English language - David Hume and Charles Dickens. If someone was to ask me whom I felt to be the greatest writer of the English language, my answer would be David Hume. Hume was a Scottish philosopher who lived three hundred years ago. He was probably England's greatest erudite when he lived during the 18th century. He infuenced Emmanuel Kant - a philosopher some have called one of the greatest and most important European thinkers of all times. In fact, as brilliant as Kant was, he went into recluse for years trying to cipher out Hume's concept of 'cause and effect'. And yet, how many people know anything about David Hume today? Unless you're studying philosophy or political science in college, chances are you've never heard of David Hume. Now, who hasn't heard of Charles Dickens? In fact, even today, Dickens' popularity keeps increasing more and more throughout the years - who hasn't heard of, ..."ghost of Christmas pass/present/future (to come)"... If Hume was so brilliant, why is he almost forgotten today, whereas Dickens is considered one of the most popular and successful English writers of all times. - The answer - to put it in modern California English vernacular - Hume lacks 'mojo', whereas Dickens has an unlimited and endless supply of 'mojo'. Unless you know about philosophy, political science, history, science and theology, - or could be you just enjoy reading about these subjects, reading Hume will most likely cure that insommnia which has been keeping you up during the last couple of nights. - However, Dickens is entertaining, funny, creative, - and exciting enough to keep your mental juices flowing - 'what's Oliver Twist up to next'?... Likewise, this is the case in writing a good resume. You want to be sure you capture the imagination of the individual who is about to read your resume, so he/she will be interested enough to call you up for that very important interview, and by doing so land you that great new high paying job you so very much desire.

Objective

Is the first part of your resume. Many people use adverbs and adjectives in this section causing some readers to sometimes say to themselves, "Who are they kidding? I've heard that one before"... Try and describe positive and unique traits about yourself, and not generic/cliches qualities - be simple and concise, 2 or 3 sentences at the most in this first section of your resume. Today, many employers want people who are planning to stay with them for a long time - at least 5 years or so. Back in the "good old days," when the economy was in better shape, people would move around from job to job, because it was easy seeking new employment in another company. This made employers upset, because they had to train new employees for positions only to find out they'd resign after 1 year or so, forcing them to rehire and retrain - two things employers do not like to do.

Employment History

This section can get tricky at times. Caveat: do not write your past/present employer's phone numbers on this section. Many people have a tendency to write their employer's phone numbers. If prospective employer is interested in hiring you, then they'll most likely ask you for references during the interview so they can call your previous bosses to ask them about you. First thing on this section is the name of the company you worked for, or are currently working for. You should write how long you've been employed by this company. ---Last, and most important: what is it you do?! "I do all/too much/too little" - another section of your resume that you should try and omit as many adverbs and adjectives as you can and just stick to the point. "I'm in charge of contacting insurance companies on a daily basis to get them to pay our claims." Stay away from "I'm really good at calling insurances and they like me so they always pay us right away." I'm using this previous sentence as an example of what not to do. - Most important thing - can't stress this enough: find your own unique way of expressing yourself. - Bottom line, just write down what it is you do/did for this current/past employer, period!

Education

FYI: some older resumes contain the person's education/credentials after 'work history', but wikipedia's stock resume I'm using as photo on my article has it before. - Up to you to decide - either way should work just fine. Moreover, try and keep your education indicative of the work you're applying for. - A long time ago, I remember working for a temp agency. The agency's rep once received a phone call from an individual who was seeking temporary employment while I was awaiting to be called in for an interview so I heard the call. This individual had a B.A. in business administration and a Ph.D. in history. He was adamant about putting his Ph.D in the education history of his resume before his B.A. in business administration, as the previously aforementioned should come after the B.A. - one must obtain a B.A. before one does a Ph.D. The rep made an important point to the individual: "you're applying for a job in communications. The B.A. you have in business administration is what the employer is interested in, and not your Ph.D in history"; besides, a B.A. occurs before a Ph.D in a person's higher education." The applicant became upset!... I could see both sides of the argument. however, remember to keep your resume as simple as you can, and pertinent to the job you're applying for, as it will improve your chances of being hired, and that is the most important thing to you.

Experience

This section can be a bit on the subjective side. Let's face it, if you're about 40 years old and have a Masters degree in English and your employment history shows that during the past 15 years you've worked in three different high schools teaching English and the objective section of your resume states you're seeking a job as an English professor --- ditto --- your experience in life has been teaching English, period! No one who'll read your resume think of you as an accountant or car salesman. However, you can write something simple in this section of your resume - 1 to 2 sentences at most.

References

Is the simplest section of your resume: "Will furnish upon request" is all you're to write in this section which is typically the last on a person's resume.

Apotheosis

Finale of my article. Notice the words prologue, apotheosis, - usually found in verse/poetry and not something one would typically expect in a business article. I used words like 'compose' a resume. 'Compose' makes reference to music. Well, think of your resume composition as musical and poetic as possible so as to entice your prospective employer in hiring you.

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Comments 8 comments

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Great Hub and very good advice. I talk to students about resumes all the time, but just now realized I haven't had to write one in 15 years! Academics either quickly discover they don't like academic life or they are in for the long haul. Hope all is well. Blessings!


Klara 3 months ago

Great tips, John. Thanks for sharing.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 3 months ago from New Delhi, India

This is very useful, helpful and to the point!

I am sure many will benefit from these guidelines . Thanks for sharing!


John Sarkis profile image

John Sarkis 3 months ago from Los Angeles, CA Author

Hi Theresa,

Thank you so much. You and I are lucky not to had had to worry about writing a resume in the past 15 years for you and 12 years for myself. Few can say that. I know many friends who haven't been so lucky. We can thank God.

Take care of yourself and thanks again

john


John Sarkis profile image

John Sarkis 3 months ago from Los Angeles, CA Author

Hi Chitrangada,

And thank you for commenting and stopping by. I'm glad to be of help to anyone....

Take care

John


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 3 months ago from California

Very informative hub John--and necessary--although I hate putting a resume together--


John Sarkis profile image

John Sarkis 3 months ago from Los Angeles, CA Author

Thank you, Audrey. I hate it as well. You should check out my FB post I wrote when introducing and sharing this article.... Take care!


John Sarkis profile image

John Sarkis 3 months ago from Los Angeles, CA Author

Thank you, Klara. I just saw your comment now. Take care

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