Skip to main content

10 Tips For Writing A Winning Resume


Your resume (or curriculum vitae), combined with the cover letter, are the master keys to opening the prospective employer's mind and door so that you can proceed to the next step in the process - the big interview!

RESUME WRITING TIPS AND STRATEGIES

Here are 10 valuable tips for anyone writing their own resume, or who is having someone else write their resume for them. These tips and strategies are an abridged version of what is contained in my new eBook, "Instant Home Writing Kit".

1. Keep It Focused and Businesslike
A resume should be specific and all business. Don't try to be too smart or cute. After all, you are asking an employer to invest significant time and money by choosing you over many other similarly qualified people. Employers mainly want to know whether you are appropriately qualified and experienced, and if you have the ability to "deliver the goods."

2. More Than Two Pages Is Too Much
For students, recent graduates, or people with just a few years of experience, try to keep your resume to one page, two as an absolute maximum. Even a resume for someone with 20 years or more of extensive working experience, should not exceed three pages. In some cases, one or two "optional" pages can be referred to as "available upon request." These would be such optional annexes as a list of references or an inventory of recent projects and/or publications.

3. Get the Words and Punctuation Right
Make sure the grammar, spelling, and punctuation in your resume are perfect. Any obvious mistakes will hurt your credibility. Also, be sure to keep the language clear and simple. If you draft it yourself, have someone with excellent writing skills do an editorial review and a careful proofread of it. If a professional prepares it for you, such reviews are the responsibility of the resume preparation firm. Use an accepted English language "style guide" if you want to be sure of the finer points of word usage, punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations, etc.

4. Read Between the Lines
Customize the resume to match the stated requirements of the job that you are applying for, without being misleading. Review and analyze the job advertisement carefully. Look for, and itemize the key qualifications, skills, and abilities the employer is seeking. Then identify certain key words that are usually repeated in such ads. Make sure that the wording and sequence of points in your resume reflect and address these "corporate terminologies" and "code words" as much as possible. When possible, study the company's annual report and Web site, and weave the themes and terms found there into your resume and cover letter.

5. Make Sure It Looks Good
Use a crisp, clean, simple presentation format for a professional looking resume. Just a bit of simple line work and/or shading, done with standard word processing software will do the trick. If you don't have the aptitude for this, there is most likely someone among your friends or in your office who can help you achieve a professional presentation. If not, seek professional advice. It won't cost much for a good simple layout, but it will make a world of difference to the product.

6. Show What Can You Do Today
Focus, first and foremost, on your recent experience that is most relevant to the position at hand. Less relevant and/or dated experience should be either eliminated or summarized in brief point form near the end of your resume. When reviewing your resume information, a prospective employer wants to know what you are doing now, what you have done recently, and how that relates to the job requirements of the post they are trying to fill.

7. Be A Straight-Shooter
Be completely honest. When people lie or "creatively exaggerate" on their resume, they are almost invariably exposed, sooner or later. Think about it - who really wants to get a job based on a lie(s) and then have to live in fear of eventually being found out? We often read in the newspaper about high-profile folks who get caught in a resume falsehood or exaggeration, and it isn't very pretty.

8. Follow the Instructions
Submit your resume in exactly the form that the prospective employer requests. If they say e-mail or fax is okay, do it that way. However, if they ask for it by regular mail, send it the way they ask. They must have reasons for requesting it in such a form and they are geared up to process it that way. If your resume is to be sent by snail mail, use the complete address that they specify, or it could go to the wrong office, especially in a large organization.

9. Don't Get Lost In the Mail
Be careful to respect certain conventions that the prospective employer may require in your resume. For example, make sure that the cover letter mentions the exact name of the specific position you are applying for, and the competition number, if applicable. Sometimes an employer will request that the job title and/or number be printed on the outside of the envelope. You would not want to miss out on a job because you didn't follow minor administrative requirements.

10. Don't Repeat Yourself
In the cover letter, don't repeat what is already detailed in the body of the attached resume. It is a "cover" letter. It should be short and to the point. Introduce yourself first, and then briefly summarize why you believe that you have the qualifications and experience to fulfill the duties of the position better than anyone else. Express enthusiasm about the job and the company. Close by stating how you are looking forward to hearing more from them soon, and that you will follow-up if necessary.

The above list can be used as a "checklist" both during the preparation phase, and when reviewing your resume just before submission. Cover off these 10 points and you won’t go wrong.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Top 10 [FREE] Writing Courses on Youtube That Are Packed With Massive Value

This is a friendly reminder that the best things in life really are FREE, and that includes full spectrum writing courses on Youtube that teach you just about everything you will need to know about operating as a competent, reliable, and skilled copywriter. Sure, you could pay for courses and there's nothing wrong with that. But why not take advantage of a free opportunity? Here are  Top 20 [FREE] Writing Courses on Youtube That Are Packed With Massive Value. 1. Simple Learning's Copywriting Course In this course, writers will learn how to write write product descriptions, multiply sales, and how to influence your readers. Course contains very little fluff - only the most important principles are shared throughout the video.  2. Simplilearn's Full Course Content Marketing Tutorial For Beginners Every content writer and marketer wants that coveted #1 spot on Google. Heck, most want to get to the front page at the very least. This course is all about ranking high on Google an

How To Get People To Know That Your Book Is Out There

Ok, so you wrote that perfect novel, and rewrote it again and again until it's perfect.  Then you found either a Publisher or Agent to represent you.  Your book has been through the editing stage, cover art finalized, and a published Date assigned, now what?  Is the job done?  Have you did all you needed to do to make this book a success?  Nope, you have only begun.  Now you have to market that book, get  it into book stores, let people know it is available.  First off, you need to find out from your Publisher or Agent where you book will be available, who is doing reviews and any promoting they plan on doing.  Once you have the answers to these questions you now know where to start.  A review is the first step to getting your book known.  You can begin requesting reviews as soon as the Publisher has a final proof copy available.  Most review sites can be found in the Search Engines by simply typing the genre of your book. Examples includes romance and sci-fi, and book r

How to Multiply Your Freelance Work

You can turn your $200 fee to write a press release into $2,000 to  carry out an entire PR campaign simply by convincing clients to  invest in campaigns, instead of individual assignments. Campaigns  achieve better results and cost less in the long-term for clients, compared to individual assignments. And, of course, as the  freelancer, you get paid much more for turning out a succession of  assignments that assimilate a successful campaign. Here's how to multiply your writing sales by convincing clients to  invest in long-term campaigns, instead of short-term individual  assignments. • Know the short-term and long-term results. A client approaches you to write a brochure. He may or may not know that his product can  also benefit from other types of promotional pieces, such as ads,  direct mail, news releases, websites, and so on, to sell his product  or service. Your job is to educate the client. The brochure may be  the first promotional piece in a consortium of promotion