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Essential Resume Writing Tips

Aug 7, 2008
Education, Skills, and Experience

Your resume can take on a different look just by ordering the sequence of the above information. How you sequence it may depend upon the position you are seeking; the criteria for the position will guide you. As you climb the career ladder, the educational qualifications may fade into the background.

The skills and abilities section may become more important in emphasizing why you qualify for the job advertised. Your experience will underscore your abilities.

Although formal education may become less relevant over time, if you are short on experience and new to the job force, you should stress the educational qualifications and the skills that you have developed.

Let Your Resume Speak For Itself

Do not be verbose. Keep your resume to-the-point and brief. Focus on your abilities to do the job. You need to be specific about how you can handle the job. You can let this employer know later about your other abilities.

If the requirements for the position have been specified, be specific about your preparation for this particular job rather than focusing on your jack-of-all-trades skills. If the employer is looking for a manager, stress your managerial strengths and avoid listing any background that might disqualify you.

Read the job description carefully when creating your resume. Remember, one resume will never meet the requirements of two different jobs. Each resume must be done independently of the other and be specific to the job advertised.

Respond only to those job advertisements that fit your background.

Resume Layout

Take care with how you handle the layout of your resume. Do not overuse capital letters, because then nothing will be emphasized. Use capitals only for sectional headings and your name at the top.

Follow the same practice with bold and italics; do not overplay any of these or they lose their effect and purpose. Use bullets only if they make the information easier to read. Use proper headings.

Do not underline anything. Pay attention to punctuation.

Keep It Relevant

A resume is meant to be a summary. Your interviewer or employer does not have the time to read unduly lengthy resumes. They might just set it aside to be trashed. There is no need to list every job you ever held, especially if you have been inclined to frequent job changes. Mention the important and relevant ones, those that pertain to and underscore your skills in handling the new job.

However, do not try to cover up the time gaps when questioned about them. Be sure to be honest about them.

Check the Final Product

Read and re-read your resume thoroughly once you have completed it. Check for spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Proofreading will help you locate any mistakes not caught by the spellchecker.

Remember - your resume is one among thousands, and any errors will only increase the likelihood that it will sink to the bottom of the stack.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals including, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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