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How to Write a Good Résumé

How to Write a Good Résumé

Your résumé is your personal advertisement. It is a marketing tool that allows you to present yourself to potential employers as the perfect candidate.
Marian K
In these recession-hit times, when an employer places an advertisement for a job opening, he/she is likely to receive hundreds of replies. Of all the applications that are reviewed, only a handful are called in for interviews. Most job seekers wonder why did the employer select that specific set of résumé. The obvious answer would be that, those candidates were most suitable for the job. However, this is not always the case. A well-framed résumé can portray one as a superior candidate for a job, even over other better qualified candidates. Writing a good résumé is something that even experienced job holders often have a problem with. A few tips can however solve this problem effectively.

The objective here is to get you that interview call. A good document should convince the prospective employer that you will deliver. The first thing to take into consideration is what the employer is looking for, which you should assess by placing yourself in the employer's shoes. If you are applying for a job in your field, you will know what would make anyone a perfect candidate. However, if you are venturing into a new field, pick up pointers from the 'help wanted' ads or ask friends. Use this information, and frame your document to convince the prospective employer that you are a truly exceptional candidate.

Résumé Formats

There are four different résumé styles in which all your information may be structured. The chronological types present information according to a timeline. Functional ones contain categories of work experience and skills according to skill area or job function. The combination types combine the first two while highlighting one's skills and experiences. And the most detailed is a Curricula Vitae (CV), which provides a lengthy descriptive statement of qualifications and experience. However, it should be noted that, many people consider CV as different from a résumé, due to the vast difference in their structure. You should choose the format that suits your industry and the position best.

A popular format is to split all your information into two sections. The first section allows the employer to get to know you personally by illustrating your abilities and attributes. The second section contains proof of all that you have stated in the first section, and contains your educational qualifications and work experience. The best place to include details of your name, address, phone number, and your email address are at the top of the first page. However, you may do it vice-versa depending upon the type of position you are applying for. Let us see the way to write a perfect résumé.

How to do it?

Objective

Professional résumé always starts by stating your objective. The reason it is important to include an objective is because, it demonstrates that you have clarity of career direction. If it is tailored for a certain opening, your objective could name the position you are applying for. Another effective way to write it, is to include qualities that the employer is seeking. For example, 'Objective - a reporters position in an organization seeking an extraordinary record of uncovering new stories and delivering high quality writing'. This will convey that as you want to do exactly what they desire, and are thus likely to succeed at it.

Work Experience and Education

When you write down all the jobs you have held, start with your most recent and/or relevant job, and follow with earlier jobs, i.e., list them in reverse. Do the same with your educational qualifications. When you write about college, only include your major and distinctions or awards you have won, unless you are still in college or just recently graduated. If your grade-point average is not impressive, leave it out.

Personal Interests and References

This section, containing your hobbies and interests, should appear towards the end of document. Through this section, you should convey well-roundedness, good physical health, or knowledge of a subject related to your goal. It also helps get a conversation started during an interview. Your references should be mentioned in the last section of the document. It is best to just mention, 'references available upon request'.

Presentation

It includes symmetry, balance, and sufficient white space. There should be consistent use of italics, capital letters, bullets, boldface, and underlining. Ensure there are no errors ― factual, typographical, or otherwise. An important ingredient of a good résumé is simple and direct language. Use good quality paper and printing for the same.

Most people underestimate the power of a well-written résumé. Use these tips and give your job search a shot in the arm and your career a boost.