Your resume is going to be one of the greatest marketing tools you use in finding a new job. Think of your resume as an advertisement you’ve just paid top dollar to put in front of a highly targeted audience. And while you may not have paid actual money to have your resume created, you should have spent your valuable time and effort customizing your resume for each job you apply for. Make that time and effort worthwhile by creating the best resume you possibly can.
With unemployment numbers for August (2011) at 9.1%, employers are being flooded with resumes. Your resume needs to stand out from all the others and identify you as a prime candidate for the job you are applying for.
First, you will have to decide what type of resume you are going to need to create. The most common resume type is a chronological resume. If you have a strong employment background, creating a chronological resume may be your best option. Another type of resume is the functional resume. The functional resume is good for addressing employment gaps. Template files in Word format can be downloaded from the downloads section.
Work Objective Statement
Once you have decided on which resume type to base your resume off of, it’s time to focus on the the individual components of your resume. Your work objective may be one of the first pieces of information you include on your resume. You will first need to determine if you even need a work objective statement. They shouldn’t be included on every resume but can be useful if your situation is right.
The purpose of your summary statement is to catch the eye of either a human reader or resume scanning software. To this end, your summary statement needs to be focused on the company and job you are applying for. What you say in your summary statement will need to match the companies core values and the job openings core requirements. Focus your summary statement on the job skills and keywords relevant to each job posting.
The meat of your resume is going to consist of your accomplishment statements. This is where you show concrete proof of your ability to fulfill an employers need for an employee. Write your accomplishment statements to showcase your best work and the results you have accomplished.
After you have your accomplishments written out into individual statements, you will need to have a system of deciding which statements to use on your resume for each job you apply for. A good way to do this is to use the worksheet provided on this site and follow the directions in the article, Creating An Accomplishment Statement Cheat Sheet.
Scanning, Style and Content
If you have followed the advice for each section of your resume above, your resume should be well received by resume scanning software. Keeping your resume focused on the keywords listed in the job you are applying for will help your resume score high with the software employers are using to weed out unrelated and underqualified resumes.
Catching the interest of human readers is equally important as passing the scanning software test. Jumping the first hurdle only to stumble into the second one will not win you this race. The style and content of your resume has to present to the employer that you have the most beneficial skill sets to fill their need for an employee. It’s an employers market right now and they can use any arbitrary reason they want to pass you over in favor of someone else.