Determine your job search
objective prior to writing the resume. Once you have determined
your objective, you can structure the content of your
resume around that objective. Think of your objective as the
bull's-eye to focus your resume on hitting. If you write
your resume without having a clear objective in mind, it will
likely come across as unfocused to those that read it. Take the
time before you start your resume to form a clear
Think of your resume as a
marketing tool. Think of yourself as a product, potential
employers as your customers, and your resume as a brochure
about you. Market yourself through your resume. What are your
features and benefits? What makes you unique? Make sure to
convey this information in your resume.
Use your resume to obtain
an interview, not a job. You don't need to go into detail
about every accomplishment. Strive to be clear and concise. The
purpose of your resume is to generate enough interest in you to
have an employer contact you for an interview. Use the interview
to provide a more detailed explanation of your
accomplishments and to land a job offer.
Use bulleted sentences. In the body of your resume, use bullets
with short sentences rather than lengthy paragraphs. Resumes are
read quickly. This bulleted sentence format makes it
easier for someone to quickly scan your resume and still
Use action words. Action
words cause your resume to pop. To add life to your
resume, use bulleted sentences that begin with action words like
prepared, developed, monitored, and presented.
Use #'s, Rs. and %'s.
Numbers, dollars, and percentages stand out in the body of
a resume. Use them. Here are two examples:
Managed a department of 10 with a budget of Rs.1,000,000.
Increased sales by 25% in a 15-state territory.
Lead with your strengths.
Since resumes are typically reviewed in 30 seconds, take
the time to determine which bullets most strongly support your
job search objective. Put those strong points first where they
are more apt to be read.
Play Match Game. Review
want ads for positions that interest you. Use the key words
listed in these ads to match them to bullets in your resume. If
you have missed any key words, add them to your resume.
Use buzzwords. If there are
terms that show your competence in a particular field, use them
in your resume. For marketing people, use "competitive
analysis." For accounting types, use "reconciled
Accent the positive. Leave
off negatives and irrelevant points. If you feel your date of
graduation will subject you to age discrimination, leave the
date off your resume. If you do some duties in your current job
that don't support your job search objective, leave them off
your resume. Focus on the duties that do support your objective.
Leave off irrelevant personal information like your height and
Show what you know. Rather
than going into depth in one area, use your resume to highlight
your breadth of knowledge. Use an interview to provide more
Show who you know. If you
have reported to someone important such as a vice president or
department manager, say so in your resume. Having reported to
someone important causes the reader to infer that you are
Construct your resume to
read easily. Leave white space. Use a font size no smaller than
10 point. Limit the length of your resume to 1-2 pages.
Remember, resumes are reviewed quickly. Help the reader to scan
your resume efficiently and effectively.
Have someone else review
your resume. Since you are so close to your situation, it can be
difficult for you to hit all your high points and clearly convey
all your accomplishments. Have someone review your job search
objective, your resume, and listings of positions that interest
you. Encourage them to ask questions. Their questions can help
you to discover items you inadvertently left off your resume.
Revise your resume to include these items. Their questions can
also point to items on your resume that are confusing to the
reader. Clarify your resume based on this input.
Submit your resume to
potential employers. Have the courage to submit your resume.
Think of it as a game where your odds of winning increase with
every resume you submit. You really do increase your odds with
every resume you submit. Use a three-tiered approach. Apply for
some jobs that appear to be beneath you. Perhaps they will turn
out to be more than they appeared to be once you interview for
them. Or perhaps once you have your foot in the door you can
learn of other opportunities. Apply for jobs that seem to be
just at your level. You will get interviews for some of those
jobs. See how each job stacks up. Try for some jobs that seem
like a stretch. That's how you grow -- by
taking risks. Don't rule yourself out. Trust the process. Good
luck in your job search!