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How to write a job winning resume

Updated on May 16, 2008

A good resume will help you snag your dream job

Think of your resume as a marketing tool...

Most people dread writing their resumes. Often times, the task is so daunting, many job-hunters don't put the time and energy to make their resume the sterling piece of marketing copy it should be.

Here are my ten tips on how to make your resume the best job winning resume it can be:

1. Before you start writing your resume, you need to realize how important it is and what a resume does for your and your career. The purpose of a resume is to hopefully peak the interest of potential employers enough to land you a job interview. However, just because you are writing a resume to try to get an interview doesn't mean you should treat it like a job application. Instead, you need to craft your resume like a piece of marketing copy aimed to make a big sale on a prime product-- you! In order to achieve this goal... you need to invest time, summons up creative juices, and revise, revise, revise.

2. Treat your objective statement as the HOOK of a resume. Your objective statement should be aligned left below your Name and contact information. A resume objective section is like an introduction. Think of it as a Newspaper headline. How many headlines get released into the news each day? Millions. What do people do when they pick up a newspaper? Scan headlines until something catches their eye and peaks their interest...to read more of the article. Resumes are the same way. Each job posting is likely to attract hundreds of resumes. So, if you want a chance and your resume earning more than 3 or 4 seconds of an employers attention, make a clear, concise, opening statement full of power words that will let anyone reading your resume know how VALUABLE you will be to their company.

3. Tailor your resume to each job posting you are responding to. For example, they want someone with leadership skills. Maybe you have never been a "manager" or a "boss, but perhaps you've lead a research team, or have supervised a fund raiser. Pay more attention to how you can show that you have the qualities the employer is looking for, and less about stated your previous "duties"

4. Always work achievements and awards in when you can. This will show employers that people who have employed you have recognized you as the shining star that you are.

5. When detailing previous professional experience (NEVER SAY JOB OR WORK HISTORY), use bulleted lists that are concise and to the point. Do not list out every single one of your duties. Be a little vague so hiring managers will have something to ask about during an interview. When you are done writing out your previous employment, re-read it. If the job ad is looking for certain qualities, add them into your job histories. For example, Job A is seeking a motivated project manager. In your resume, you might want to mention you "project managed" the creation of that instructional booklet for your current employer.

6. Make sure the phone number you put on your resume is one that you will have access to during normal business hours. For example, if you put your cell number down, and someone calls for an interview and gets your voicemail, they may or may not take the extra time to leave you a voicemail. Be available. If you are difficult to get a hold of just to set up an interview, imagine how people will feel if they need you to do work for them.

7. Your resume ( and cover letter) should be drafted in such a manner, in all possible instances, that illustrates how you will benefit their company. Beyond coming out and saying how you will add value in your objective statement, the next best place to illustrate what you will do for the company is in your "Summary of Qualifications" section. I usually write the Summary of Qualifications as a bulleted list with proven work experience, skills that match the job advertisement. Then I give a few personal qualities (with some of them pulled from the job ad).

8. Formatting is everything. We are visual beings, we like things that look nice. Don't use a template, they are cheesy, and can be spotted from a mile a way. Make sure your layout is simple and clean. Use bulleted lists. Bold and italic key words, job titles, places of employment, wisely. Make sure there is plenty of white space between each section. Avoid writing anything longer than a few lines long. Make sure all headers are the same font, size, and style.

9. Edit, Edit, Edit. Before you submit your resume in response to an ad... proofread it several times. Even the slightest mistake in formatting, grammatical, spelling, punctuation, and so on, can cost you the job. Also re-read it for content. Is it clear? Are your sentences short and to the point? Did you use punctuation consistently? How is the content? Did you tailor your resume to the job posting? Did you use plenty of power words? Put your resume down for a couple of hours, and review one more time before you send it. You might also want to get an honest friend's opinion about your resume.

10. Use the same care in submitting your resume as you did with writing it. If submitting a hard copy, include a hard copy cover letter explaining how you will be a valuable asset to their company. Print both the resume and coverletter on the highest quality paper as possible. Print your application materials ONLY on white or a neutral shade of paper. Colored paper will likely get your resume thrown into the recycling bin faster than anything else. If e-mailing your resume, make sure your resume and cover letter are named appropriately with your name included in the file name. Make sure both are attached. Write a simple professional note in the body of the email explaining why you are writing in response to the job ad, why you are fit for the job, and that your resume and cover letter is attached. You should treat the body of the e-mail like an abbreviated version of your coverletter.

And finally, if you feel like you lack the skills to write a resume, contact a professional. If you need resume writing or editing assistance, leave me a comment with your e-mail address.

Sample resume

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    • silvalinings profile image

      silvalinings 8 years ago from Richardson, TX 75080

      This is an excellent resource which I will pass on to my son (too obvious a hint for him, you think? LOL) I noticed you changed your profile picture. I like this one because it's fun but I have to admit, I like the "edge" to your photo! And this from an old...uh...older lady!

    • lady luck profile image
      Author

      lady luck 8 years ago from Boston

      Awwww.... I changed my profile picture because I'm going through some crap at work, and the last thing I need right now would be for my boss to come across my hubs especially with my oh so identifying picture!!

    • Die'Dre' profile image

      Die'Dre' 8 years ago from The Great Pacific Northwest

      This is a well written hub. I've been thinking about revising my resume. This will be a big help.

    • tyger200711 profile image

      tyger200711 8 years ago from Moose Jaw Saskatchewan Canada

      I think if people know how to write resume with more description and deatail. They would have a better chance of getting a great job.

    • profile image

      iMindMap 8 years ago

      Your tips sure come in handy.

    • WordWielder profile image

      WordWielder 8 years ago from Austin

      As a self-professed "professional" resume writer (I've written hundreds of them), I compliment you for reaffirming what us resume writers already know but for breaking it down to people who may not. This was very halpful- you should write a book on it!

    • profile image

      shukla roshani 7 years ago

      I LIKE YOUR RESUME TIPS. I WILL WRITE MY RESUME USING YOUR TIPS.

    • profile image

      jonty 7 years ago

      Very well written hub .....

      very much informative ......

      Thank you very much for your great hub, for good advice, good wishes and support. Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us.

    • profile image

      LISA lEWIS 7 years ago

      I need help om both editing and writing a resume

    • profile image

      Sam 7 years ago

      Your pic is hot, I'd hire you even if your resume is crap!

    • profile image

      Melissa W 7 years ago

      Very informative. Good tips on writing a resume.

    • waynet profile image

      Wayne Tully 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      A great and in depth article that I have backlinked to on my one page article blog http://onepage-articles.blogspot.com and I hope you write more quality hubpages like this, because more people need to read them.

    • profile image

      halford 7 years ago

      On top of the resume, we need to build up powerful cover letter, so that the potential employer will take a full charge to read your resume word by word

    • deeptisharma profile image

      deeptisharma 7 years ago from New Delhi

      useful post

    • lauralolita profile image

      lauralolita 7 years ago from Florida

      Great information, Thanks!

    • profile image

      Kemal Byazeed 7 years ago

      Thak you very much, in deed

    • profile image

      kakooza A 6 years ago

      What an Excellent source of knowledge. It has refueled me for greater success. Thanks for being niece to us.

    • profile image

      Duane69 6 years ago

      Lauralolita you are hot!!!!

    • edmondpogi profile image

      edmondpogi 6 years ago

      informative.

    • profile image

      Ekemini Inyang 6 years ago

      That's true...i believe one of our reasons of not getting a job is bad marketing.....This is as a result of poorly written resume;Because resumes give us a good or bad name, meaning our self made resumes can either upgrade us or mar us.

    • profile image

      Rookie70 6 years ago

      I compliment you for reaffirming what us resume writers already know but for breaking it down to people who may not. This was very halpful-

    • profile image

      Resume examples 6 years ago

      I don't think so, such a hot person writes such a nice article..i am totally wow on you.

    • profile image

      handbags 6 years ago

      how wonderful!

      I just wanted to comment your blog and say that I really

      enjoyed reading your blog post here.

    • profile image

      Maria Payroll 6 years ago

      Interesting post. Thank you for sharing helpful tips. Now I need to update my resume. It's important for one to have a good resume, because this can help you get an interview. It's one of the things that can help you make a good impression on the employer.

    • profile image

      connie 6 years ago

      informative

    • pierceh profile image

      pierceh 5 years ago

      Really good write up. I think most people go wrong with No.3 - not tailoring a resume to each application. Much better to focus on less applications and make them perfect for the role, than blast out endless identical copies. Hirers can tell if you've taken the time to customise for their vacancy and will use it as a guide to how keen you really are.

    • profile image

      deolu 5 years ago

      i got d information i need at the rigth time its splendid i will review mine

    • profile image

      jo 5 years ago

      good

    • profile image

      Sue 5 years ago

      Thank you for all your information in writing a resume. I'm an LPN with an active license,but haven't worked for over fifteen years. After rearing a family, I'm interested in seeking employment. How do I go about this?

    • rajeshvijayasekar profile image

      rajeshvijayasekar 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      Valuable resume writing worth bookmarking. All the points are explained in a clear manner.

      http://jobsdaily.yolasite.com/

    • profile image

      tom 5 years ago

    • profile image

      sakib karim 5 years ago

      ...................

    • profile image

      Shelley 3 years ago

      I definitely need the assistance of a professional. Although I have worked for two (2) other companies, I have had several different positions. The position I am applying for is again within my organisation and I am at a lost as to what to put into my resume to grab the potential employer's attention real quick without going on and on.

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