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Three Common Resume Questions Answered

Sep 13, 2008
How many times have you found yourself in the midst of writing your resume when you realized that there were some questions you simply had to have answered before you could move forward? Everyone has probably been in this predicament at least once during a resume-writing experience.

Of course, there are some questions that are more frequently asked than others. So before you put your fingers back on the keyboard, let's take a moment to explore some of the more commonly asked questions regarding resumes.

How Do I Write a Great Objective?

For many, the objective is the most abstract and challenging portion of the resume to write. You may find yourself asking questions like "what does the employer want to know?" and "how can I describe myself in just one sentence?" during the process. But don't let these issues deter you from continuing on, because in actuality, it is not hard to create a succinct objective that will entice the employer to read on.

First, take note that objectives can be more than one sentence long. Depending on your level of experience, you may want to include up to three sentences describing who you are and what career plans you have that fall neatly in line with the employer's goals. Within the 1-3 sentences, you want to express your strengths, abilities and qualifications in your field, and how they match the specific employer's goals. However, try to avoid using the word "I" in this section as it creates a self-centered image, something that can quickly result in your resume hitting the bottom of the stack.

What if I Haven't Worked in a While?

If you haven't worked for several years, or even several months, you may feel a little bit nervous about explaining your employment gap. But don't worry; if you truly feel you're qualified for the job, you can express this in a number of ways.

One is by using a functional resume style (as opposed to chronological) that focuses less on timelines and more on skills. Also, you can roll up all of your non-work experience, including volunteering, community involvement, consulting, or even your continuing education, to highlight the skills you've acquired over the years. If your gaps are a little smaller, you can make them less obvious by not noting months on your resume. In the end, you want to showcase your knowledge of industry trends, so be creative in explaining how this knowledge can enhance the position you're applying for.

Should I Include References?

Typically, the rule for references is this: if they don't ask for them, don't provide them. However, if they do it's a good idea to create a separate sheet just for them. On that sheet, you can include the references' names, phone numbers, and their locations, as well as your personal/professional relationships. But before you add references be sure to contact them so they are prepared to offer information about you.

Writing a resume can be an exciting process if you remember that your hard work can result in a great job. So take the time to ask more questions about the writing process. You'll find that the more you ask, the more likely you are to create a standout resume that may just secure the job you want.
About the Author
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. Compare the top resume writing services in the industry at http://www.resumelines.com
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