Effective resume preparation will open the door to obtaining an interview.
There is no universal format for resumes; however, the following are critical guidelines:
- Sell your qualifications by focusing on accomplishments and results rather than routine job descriptions.
- Be sure the information you provide is relevant to prospective employers and focuses on skills and experience to do the job.
- Be aware of the continuity of your history. The reader will be looking for reasons to eliminate as many resumes as possible. Resumes with gaps of unaccountable time are often eliminated.
- Contact names and telephone numbers are not necessary in the main body of the resume. This will avoid these people being contacted without your authorization.
- Keep in mind that if/when you have worked for a staffing agency, such as PBS, the agency is considered the employer. The company where you worked on-site may be identified as long as it is clear that they were not the employer. It is important to list software programs you worked with and skills you obtained while on the assignment.
- Emphasize your resume by using strong action verbs, solid nouns and positive modifiers.
- Allow someone who knows you to constructively criticize your resume.
- Always prepare a cover letter that is specific to the position you are applying for. Make reference to the needs of the company and your qualifications.
Frequently asked Questions of your Resume
Following are a few of the main questions that a reader will ask of your resume. By answering these questions in a persuasive way, you will increase your chances of getting an interview.
- What do you want? What kind of position are you seeking? Generally an "objective" section of your resume. Whether or not you have an objective section, your resume should be built around your answer to this question, so it is obvious to prospective employers what position you are aiming for.
- Why are you qualified to do it? This information falls under a summary or "Professional Profile" section. In this section, you outline skills that you possess that qualify you for the job. This section is used to convince the prospective employer to continue reading your resume.
- Where have you done it? This would be your "Experience" section. You need to include who you worked for and the city and state in which they are located, and what you did. ***This is where you will use your strong, solid keywords. Focus on the functional skills that are most relevant to your job target.
- How well have you done it? Here, you will list accomplishments that show by
example that you have contributed to a previous employers' bottom line. The best accomplishments to list are those that show quantifiable results or your willingness to "get the job done."
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