Your resume should include a career summary and a description of your education, work experience, accomplishments, special skills, and interests.
A resume is a marketing tool for a candidate seeking a new position. Your resume and cover letter will be competing with hundreds of other applicants for a recruiter’s attention to grant an interview. To get that interview, it must be an exceptional document both in terms of content and presentation. Any short cuts in writing a resume could disqualify a candidate from getting on a short list for initial interviews.
The purpose of a resume is to get job interviews. It is a statement of your skills and abilities to do the job for which you are applying. It tells the employer the benefits you offer, and how you will be successful in the position. The resume should have an appealing appearance so that the recruiter will be tempted to pick it up and read it. That means it should be formatted properly, should have ample margins, and a formal type face. Remember, the purpose of a resume is to stimulate the recruiter’s interest so that you get called for an interview. Your resume is a business advertisement, and should appear professional. It should not only be attractive, but also have relevant and valuable content. It should be short, simple, and easy to read.
Keep the objective of getting invited for job interviews uppermost in your mind as you write your resume. It is a marketing document which demonstrates what you have accomplished in the past, and how it will help your prospective employers. Write your resume with great enthusiasm to create a document that you can be proud of. Everything you state on your resume must be true. Your resume is the bridge to reach your dream job. Although, most of the content of a resume is based on your current and previous jobs, it is not just a history of the jobs you have held. Your resume is an advertisement of your experience and accomplishments which has the sole purpose of getting you invited for job interviews.
Carefully checking your resume is a good first step, but it is essential to have one or two people proof-read your resume before you send it to prospective employers. There must be no typing, spelling or grammatical errors in your resume.
Every job posting and newspaper ad results in hundreds of resumes. Recruiters usually glance over a resume in a few seconds. The top half of the first page of the resume often determines whether the candidate gets any further consideration.
Remember, what you have done in the past is a good guide as to what you will do in the future.
It is important to show in your resume how you created value for your past employers, or how you saved money for them by improving products or services. Your resume should be a proposal of what you can do in the future, rather than just a statement of what you have done in the past. Every resume is unique. It is a marketing communication designed to win an interview.
Your experience level and the type of job you are seeking determine the type of resume you need. Someone who is just entering the workforce should focus more on educational background, as compared to another candidate with substantial work experience who should focus on job accomplishments.
The most effective way to get interviews is to use an accomplishment based resume and then target it to specific job postings. Recruiters want to know what you accomplished in your previous positions, not just where you were employed. You need to demonstrate how you created value or saved money for your previous employers, and provide specific instances of how you actually accomplished that. Whenever possible, try to attach a monetary value to what you accomplished.