Résumé Writing: Practical Tips for Beginners
Without a well-written, position-specific résumé, your years of experience, education and accumulated skills may appear rather insignificant to the person considering you for the position you’re applying for. This may seem obvious, but it highlights the fact that writing a résumé is truly a form of self-expression – the most financially significant kind.
Unfortunately, most people tend to sporadically throw their résumés together without considering how important it is to their financial future. It may look good, but in today’s competitive job market, it needs to look great. Unless you are a professional résumé writer, it is extremely difficult to understand the proper elements of a position-specific résumé. And, yes, every résumé you submit should be developed to reflect the requirements of the specific position you are applying for.
This article is written for those who want an expert’s advice on writing a résumé. If you're looking for advice on searching for a career in general, check out this hub.
You would likely consider yourself an expert (or at least knowledgeable) in your field of work, correct? You are of value to others who require your knowledge, correct? Well, unbeknown to many, it is the exact same way with résumé writers. It isn’t “cheating” or “falsifying” to have an expert write your résumé. After all, there is probably a lot more that goes into it than you think…
My mother and I operate our own résumé writing business: Hired Résumé Service. It is an amazing feeling when one of your past clients personally thanks you for helping them land a job, or, at least, get more interviews. Knowing how beneficial our résumé service is to other people’s lives is very rewarding.
However, there are still a great deal of people who want to write their own résumés. After all, it is a very personal document. For them, I offer the following advice.
Conciseness is important
The general rule is that your résumé should fit on one page. People often believe that more is better, but, in fact, hiring managers want to quickly determine whether or not you qualify for an interview. They typically have a stack of résumés to process, so you need to stand out very quickly. To do this, you’ll want to summarize your qualifications with a bulleted list. Each bullet should only contain one sentence. By doing so, the hiring manager can quickly scan the information most important to them.
Remember, summarization is the key.
Job-specific keywords are crucial
It would be great if we could simply create a one-page document that qualified us for any job that we applied for. Unfortunately, that remains in the realm of fantasy.
In order to ensure that you get an interview, you need to develop the wording on your résumé so that the hiring manager’s mouth begins to water. How do you do this? It’s simple really: examine the wording used in the job description and then use those words on your résumé. You don’t want to use the exact same phrases, of course, but you do want them to be similar.
Office Clerk job description from www.careerplanner.com -
“Perform duties too varied and diverse to be classified in any specific office clerical occupation, requiring limited knowledge of office management systems and procedures. Clerical duties may be assigned in accordance with the office procedures of individual establishments and may include a combination of answering telephones, bookkeeping, typing or word processing, stenography, office machine operation, and filing.”
Summary of qualifications:
- Highly organized and efficient with various office procedures
- Computer skills consist of extensive use of Excel spreadsheets, Word, Outlook email system
- Excellent data entry skills, both numeric and alpha, type 60 WPM accurately
- Knowledge of purchase orders, back order reports, and expedited orders
- Knowledgeable regarding freight terminology, processing invoices and auditing
- Efficient with answering busy phone lines in call center while multitasking other assignments
Only highlight relevant experience
If you want to prove that you are the right candidate for the job, you have to present your relevant experience (this is a bit different with entry-level résumés, but I won’t go into that for now). The most important thing to remember is that you want to separate “relevant experience” from “additional experience.” You’ll want to be very detailed in your description of your relevant experience, mostly because that is the most important information to the hiring manager. They will also likely reference it during an interview, so the more there is to talk about, the better!
There is a lot more to writing a good résumé than what this article contains, but I’ve covered a few of the basics. Unfortunately, each résumé requires its own customization to truly be successful. Even if you have little work experience or education in the field you desire, there are ways of making your résumé stand out. However, if I shared these secrets with you, I might be out of a job! :)
If you have specific questions for me, feel free to leave a comment and I will surely get back to you! Also, you can check out my “8 Crucial Interviewing Tips” hub, which contains a bunch of great practical information. If you are in need of some professional help, make sure to visit my website at www.hiredresume.com.