Question 1. What Is The Purpose Of A Resume?
- To get a job interview.
- To structure the interview process.
- To remind the interviewer of you after you’re gone.
- To serve as the basis for justifying the hiring decision to others.
Question 2. What Are The Absolute, Unbreakable Rules Of Resume Writing?
We believe there are only two absolute rules in resume writing:
These rules, however, are absolutes:
- No typos and misspellings.
- Do not lie.
Almost every rule you have ever heard can be broken if you have a compelling reason.
Question 3. If I’ve Never Created A Resume Before, How Do I Get Started?
Here are some suggestions for resources to get you started:
Try the Inexpensive Resume Workbooks from the late Yana Parker.
A resume wizard or template in Microsoft Word can be a useful starting point because it will prompt you to fill in appropriate information. Once you’ve used a Word template to start your resume, it’s best to customize the layout and design. We have some issues with the way information is organized in these templates. Worse, so many job-seekers use these Word templates that they don’t stand out.
- Use our Fundamentals of a Good Chronological Resume as a basic template.
- Get inspiration from our collection of more than 100 Free Sample Professional Resumes.
- If you’re really stuck, consider hiring a professional resume writer.
Question 4. What Are The Most Important Aspects Of A Resume, And How Can I Remember Them?
The most important things to remember about writing an effective resume can be encapsulated in a six-letter acronym, FAKTA,
in which the letters stand for:
- Transferable Skills
Get more details about these elements in our article, FAKTA: An Easy Acronym for Remembering Key Resume Enhancers.
Question 5. What Should Be Included On A Resume?
We offer lists of the items that you absolutely must include in your resume and a list of optional items to consider including:
- Phone numbers*
- Email address
- Resume Optionals
- Objective Statement (currently out of fashion; please click the preceding link to see what replaces the objectives statement)
- Headline and/or Branding Statement (often used instead of an Objective Statement); see more about career branding in our Career Branding Tutorial
- Professional Profile or Qualifications Summary (use this Professional Profile/Qualifications Summary Worksheet)
- Keyword Summary
- Transferable Skills
- Foreign travel
- The notation, “References available on request”
We also offer this list of items that should never be included on a resume:
- Height, weight, age, date of birth, place of birth, marital status, sex, race, health, social security number (except on an International Resume/CV)
- Reasons for leaving previous job(s)
- Name of boss or supervisor
- Street addresses and phone numbers of past employers (city and state is sufficient)
- Picture of yourself
- Salary information
- Specific names of references (more on this issue later)
The title “Resume” Religion, church affiliations, political or other controversial affiliations: Any disclosure on your resume that could get you screened out as a candidate is risky. You may take the stance that you don’t want to work for an employer that would eliminate you because a hiring manager didn’t like your political beliefs or religious affiliation. But given that, for most candidates, religion, politics, and any other controversial affiliations are not relevant to your next job, it’s wise to leave them out.
Question 6. Why Does A Resume Need To Be Sharply Focused?
The reader needs to be able to tell in a quick glance what you want to do and what you would be good at. A recent study indicates that the reader will spend as few as 6 seconds screening your resume, so you need to focus the reader’s attention quickly.
Question 7. How Can You Sharpen The Focus Of Your Resume?
- Use a branding statement or headline or both stop your resume.
- Add a profile/qualifications summary with keywords relevant to the job you seek.
- Add a keyword section relevant to the job you seek. See our Resume Keywords Worksheet.
- Beef up portrayal of accomplishments and transferable skills. Be sure to spotlight skills that apply to what you want to do next. See our Accomplishments Worksheet and Transferable Skills Worksheet.
- Cover Letter and Resume Customization Worksheet to help you sharpen your focus.
- For college students and new grads: Consider adding class projects in your major (or other classes) that are applicable to what you want to do upon graduation. See our College Experience Worksheet for Resume Development.
Question 8. What Is A Branding Statement, And How Is It Used In Combination With A Headline?
A “headline” atop your resume usually identifies the position or type of job you seek.
A branding statement is a punchy “and-like” statement that tells immediately what you can bring to an employer. A branding statement defines who you are, your promise of value, and why you should be sought out. Your branding statement should encapsulate your reputation, showcase what sets you apart from others, and describe the added value you bring to a situation. Think of it as a sales pitch.
Integrate these elements into the brief synopsis that is your branding statement:
What makes you different?
What qualities or characteristics make you distinctive?
What have you accomplished?
What is your most noteworthy personal trait?
What benefits (problems solved) do you offer?
See a good discussion of branding statements and headlines, with samples, starting in this section of our free e-book, The Quintessential Guide to Words to Get Hired By.
Question 9. What Is The Resume Ingredients Rule?
- Organize the information on your resume in accordance with your desired impact on the reader. This rule should govern which information you present and the order in which you present it.
- That’s why you always list your work experience in REVERSE chronological order because your most important and applicable jobs are likely to be the most recent.
- You don’t want the first thing that the employer sees to be bagboy at the supermarket or waitress if you’ve had more important and relevant jobs.
Question 10. What Kinds Of Licenses Or Certifications Should I List?
Any that are relevant to the job you seek.
Question 11. What Goes First Education Or Experience?
- It depends on whether your degree or your experience is your best selling point. Always list the most relevant section first.
- If you are a current college student or about to graduate, generally list education first.
- If you are currently working, generally list experience first. A good cutoff point for moving your Experience section to the forefront of your resume is a year to 18 months after graduation.
Question 12. What Should You Always List Under The Education Section?
- If you have multiple degrees, list the most recent first.
- For each degree, ALWAYS list NAME of your degree FIRST.
- Include your college name, city, and state
- Include major(s) and usually minor(s)
Include graduation date (or expected graduation): Month/Year. Once you’ve been out of school a year or so, you can omit the month. Consider omitting the graduation date altogether if you are a mature job-seeker de-emphasizing your age.
Question 13. What If You Have No College Degree, No Four-year College Degree, Or Did Not Attend College?
If you have at least some college, list it. List an associate’s degree or incomplete studies toward a bachelor’s degree. For the incomplete degree, list the college, major, location, span of dates you attended, an, ideal, number of credit-hours completed. Your listing of an associate’s degree, incomplete bachelor’s degree, or no college at all should be beefed up with any training, professional-development, and certificate programs. In the unlikely event that you have absolutely none of these, leave off the Education section. Some employers (and most recruiters) will screen you out, but if you have succeeded in the past without educational credentials, your professional accomplishments will likely be enough to propel you to an interview.
Question 14. Should My Other Major Heading Be “employment” Or “experience?”
Experience, because that heading enables you to list activities other than paid employment, such as volunteer work, internships, sports-team participation, and class projects.
Question 15. Should The Experience Section Be Further Broken Down Into Subsections?
While a resume can sometimes include subsections, such as Relevant (or Professional) Experience and Other Experience, we find it confusing when resumes, especially those of college students.
list multiple types of experience: internship experience, volunteer experience, extracurricular experience, leadership experience, etc.
Question 16. How Should You Jobs Be Listed Under The Experience Section?
List information in this order:
- Job subheadings should include name of company, city, and state (Do NOT include street addresses, names of supervisors, contact telephone numbers, or other extraneous data.);
- Dates of employment (include month or seasonal descriptor and year);
- Bulleted list of key accomplishments (more to come on this subject);
- Company description (optional; often sought by recruiters and employers of senior-level job-seekers).
- Reporting relationships: title of person you reported to and titles and departments that reported to you (optional; often sought by recruiters and employers of senior-level job-seekers).
Question 17. What Is The Correct Number Of Pages For A Cv?
This often will depend on the job for which you are applying and your level of work experience. One or two pages is normally more than enough to cater for most. Also two pages are the maximum employers expect to see.
Question 18. What Is A Cv Or Curriculum Vitae?
A curriculum vitæ is a written and chronological description of your work experience, educational background, and skills. It normally covers around 2 pages of A4 paper. The word resume is used especially in the United States and in English Canada; the Latin term curriculum vitæ (often abbreviated CV) is instead used in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, French Canada and some Commonwealth countries, as well as in the academic fields in North America, and in many languages other than English. In some regions (e.g. Australia and India) CV and resume are used interchangeably.
Question 19. What Is The Number One Reason For Cv Being Rejected?
There are a number of reasons, however bad spelling & grammar would come near the top of the list. The simplest way to avoid submitting a CV containing these types of mistakes is to ask someone else to read over it is a fresh look from someone else is usually helps.
Question 20. Can You Tell Me The Most Common Cv Mistakes?
Poor CV layout: Respondents cited poor layout as one of the most commonly occurring errors made by candidates when composing their CV. Uniformity, clarity and flow of information are pertinent when you bear in mind that an employer only needs to look at a CV for a few seconds.
Not explaining gaps in work history: People who leave gaps in their work history leave employers with no alternative but to question why they have done so. By explaining that you spent time travelling or had a career break, you will eliminate the need for this.
Spelling and grammatical errors: Over 60% of the recruitment consultants surveyed regularly encountered this type of error. The simplest way to avoid submitting a CV containing these types of mistakes is to ask someone else to read over it – a fresh look from someone else is usually all it takes.
Not tailoring to a specific role: Tailored CVs generate a much more positive response from employers than those which are mass-mailed in a standard format to a large volume of recipients. It may be more time-consuming to adapt your CV every time you apply for a job, but you will increase your chances of success if you can illustrate precisely how your skills and experience match the requirements of the role.
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