Showing posts with label Resume Tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Resume Tips. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The following are some tips on writing your resume and effective interviewing that may help you in the job-seeking and placement process.

Resume Writing Tips

An effective resume provides concise, factual, and positive information about you to help employers decide whether you are the best candidate. It is your marketing tool to assist in selling your talents to a prospective employer. Since it remains after your interview is over, it reminds the employer about your background.
It should be limited to one to two pages and summarize your experience, skills, and education to highlight your qualifications for employment.
Your resume should say:
  • Who you are
  • What you know and have done
  • What kind of work you want
  • Why you should be hired
cover letter should accompany your resume, because it serves to focus the aspects of your experience and education that are directly applicable to the job. A cover letter may demonstrate your attitude, work ethic, and written communication skills. A well-written cover letter and resume can play a major role in establishing your candidacy and increasing the likelihood you will be called for an interview.
Your work history should include the name of each employer, your job title, employment dates, and a brief description of your duties and responsibilities, as well as relevant achievements and specials skills, including military experience.
List, if appropriate to your field of work, memberships in professional organizations, knowledge of foreign languages, articles published, inventions or patents, and skills such as typing or computer software knowledge. Avoid religious or political affiliations. 
In citing your educational background, don’t provide details (like a listing of major courses) unless the job requires it, your work experience is limited, or you did not graduate but want to show you have taken courses related to your occupation. If you want to emphasize your education, place it before your work history; otherwise, you should place it after your work history. 
  • List all conferred degrees, starting with the highest. If you have not received a degree but have attended college, you may list the total number of hours completed. Give the name and location of the college, degree(s) conferred, and major field(s) of study.
  • Include job-related extracurricular activities and significant scholastic honors.
  • Include any other pertinent education, such as vocational, professional, or military schools. List professional licenses or certificates.   
Do not list references on your resume. Simply include a statement, such as “References available upon request,” at the bottom of your resume. Have a separate sheet listing your references and bring this to an interview. Notify your references if it appears you are being seriously considered for a position. It is a good idea to send copies of your resume to the references you plan to use.
Carefully consider the language and format of your resumeLimit the length of your resume by using concise phrasing rather than complete sentences. You should convey a positive tone and use strong action verbs to describe job-related responsibilities and accomplishments. A few examples of action verbs are: instructed, demonstrated, performed, planned, motivated, increased, trained, solved.
  • Make your resume easy to read and scan; use white space to make text stand out.
  • Use serif fonts (Times New Roman or Ariel), type size 10.5 or 11.
  • Avoid using “I” statements; instead begin sentences or phrases with action verbs.
  • Devote more space to recent jobs than to earlier ones.
  • Write out all numbers from one to nine; use numerals for 10-999,999.
  • Write your name and phone number on each page (in case pages get separated).
  • Do not misrepresent or exaggerate your experience.
  • Do not use abbreviations or jargon, either professional or technical, unless it is relevant to the position and all readers will be sure to understand the terms.
  • Do not include a snapshot.
  • Be aware of information or dates that could be used to screen you out of consideration.
Neatness definitely counts, so be consistent with the layout- - pay attention to the arrangement of headings, captions, use of capitals, underscoring, and fonts. Lead your reader’s eye through points with headings, bullets, bold type, and white space. Of course, check for typographical errors and mistakes in grammar, spelling, or punctuation. Be critical - - have at least one other person proofread and review your resume.


How To Write A Cover Letter : A Step-by-Step Guide

Three to five short paragraphs are all you need to create a dynamic cover letter. By making your cover letter as concise as possible, you demonstrate your ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Our guide takes you through each step of the letter-writing process.

Step 1 - The Salutation

Address the letter to a name: "Dear Sir" If you can't obtain the information by calling the company, use a title: "Dear Advertising Manager."
Make sure the company address on your letter matches the one on your envelope.

Step 2 - Introductory Paragraph

Open with a sentence that grabs the reader's attention. For example, explain how your skills uniquely qualify you for the job or that you are enthusiastic about the position or company.
State what position you are applying for and where you learned about the job.

Step 3 - Why I'm the Perfect Person for the Job Paragraph

Be specific without repeating everything that is on your resume.
Briefly explain important career achievements.
Define how you can contribute to the company's success. How do your skills make you stand out?

Step 4 - Additional Background and Skills Paragraph

  • Talk about any additional skills that you have (be brief!).
  • Show you have done research on the company by demonstrating how your background can help you meet current company objectives.
  • State your practical work experience (as it pertains to the job; no one needs to know your entire teenage work history).
  • Use bullet points to highlight your greatest strengths (if you have not already done so).

Step 5 - Executive Level Information Paragraph

If you are applying to a higher-level or executive position (VP, Manager, etc.), you might want to include a fourth paragraph that gives more details of your achievements and background.
For an entry-level job or non-executive position, you probably don't need another "background paragraph."

Step 6 - Closing Paragraph

Don't ignore a request for salary requirements-but be cautious. Give a broad range or write "negotiable."
Thank the employer for reviewing your materials.

Step 7 - Signature

Remember to sign your letter in black or blue ink! Other colors don't look professional.
List your phone number underneath your name. It makes it a lot easier to find.


If you've done your homework, perfected your writing skills and understand how to position yourself against other applicants, you've got nothing to fear. Here's what a cover letter should say about you.
You Write Well
You'll make a good first impression by submitting a cover letter that is well-written and free of mistakes. Be sure to avoid typos, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. As your first contact with the employer, the cover letter really serves as a writing sample and proof (or not!) that you can organize your thoughts and write clearly.
You Understand and Respect the Employer's Busy Schedule
You'll win points immediately if you keep your letter short, sweet and to the point. Open with a solid lead-in statement that grabs the reader's attention. Be sure to avoid extraneous personal information. No one needs to know that in your spare time you also knit, juggle oranges and have won several prestigious hula hoop championships.
You Know How To Sell Yourself
With any sales pitch, the buyer wants to know "what's in it for me?" The same holds true for a cover letter. Use the cover letter to "sell" the employer on how they will benefit from your skills and experience, not how you will benefit working for them. Explain how your skills will help meet company objectives: "In my current job I developed an e-mail newsletter that increased donations by 40%. I am confident this experience would help me assist you in your ongoing fundraising efforts."
You Are Qualified for the Position
Your cover letter should outline the ways you specifically fit the qualifications needed for the position. However, don't just repeat what is on your resume. Offer concrete details demonstrating why you are the perfect person for the position: "My solid marketing background and four years of supervisory experience make me an ideal candidate for your Marketing Manager position.
You're Smart Enough Not to Send a Form Letter
How do you feel about the form letters you receive? Do they bore you? Offend you? Do you consider them junk mail? Human Resources professionals feel the same way. Customize every letter to a specific company and a specific position. Don't waste postage and paper on a pre-written form letter. They can be spotted a mile away.


Always Follow These Basic Standards....
  • Don't overcrowd your resume; allow for plenty of white space.
  • Keep your resume to one page whenever possible.
  • Keep the number of fonts you use to a minimum -- two at the most.
  • Use a font that is easy to read. Times Roman works well.
  • Do not justify the lines of type on your resume. Allow the right side of the page to "rag."
  • Do not overuse capitalization, italics, underlines, or other emphasizing features.
  • Make sure your name, address, and a phone number appear on your resume and all correspondence, preferably at the top of the page.
  • Print your resume on white or cream paper using a good-quality printer.
  • Second- and third-generation photocopies must be avoided
  • Print on one side of the paper only.

Avoid Mistakes :

To avoid spelling mistakes:
  • Don't use words with which you aren't familiar.
  • Use a dictionary as you write.
  • Perform a spell check on your finished resume.
  • Carefully read every word in your resume.
  • Have a friend or two proof read your resume for you.
Things to look for :
  • Periods at the end of all full sentences.
  • Be consistent in your use of punctuation.
  • Always put periods and commas within quotation marks.
  • Avoid using exclamation points.
Grammar hang-ups to watch for:
  • The duties you currently perform should be in present tense (i.e., write reports)
  • Duties you may have performed at past jobs should be in past tense (i.e., wrote reports).
  • Capitalize all proper nouns.
  • When expressing numbers, write out all numbers between one and nine (i.e., one, five, seven), but
  • use numerals for all numbers 10 and above (i.e., 10, 25, 108).
  • If you begin a sentence with a numeral, spell out that numeral (e.g. Eleven service awards won while employed.).
  • Make sure your date formats are consistent (i.e.11/22/01 or Nov. 22, 2001, or 11.22.01. Choose one and stick with it.).
Choose Your Words Carefully :
Phrase yourself well:
  • Be on the lookout for the following easily confused words:
  • accept (to receive), except (to exclude)
  • all right (correct), alright (this is not a word)
  • affect (to bring about change), effect (result)
  • personal (private), personnel (staff members)
  • role (a character assigned or a function), roll (to revolve).
  • Use action words (i.e., wrote reports, increased revenues, directed staff).


In most instances it is not necessary to include names and address of references on the resume. If you include a reference, make it sure that the referenced person knows very well about you. It is also advisable to add the persons as references, whom the employer can contact easily. If possible add the phone number and e-mail ID of the reference. Never add a person as a reference, about whom you know nothing


Employers have a busy schedule, so don't expect them to read through a long resume. Ideally, resumes should be of one page, or of two pages only if absolutely necessary, to describe relevant work experience.


Use of language is extremely important; you need to sell yourself to an employer quickly and efficiently. Address your potential employer's needs with a clearly written, compelling resume. Avoid large paragraphs (five or six lines). If you provide small, digestible pieces of information, your resume will be read. Use action verbs. Verbs such as "developed", "managed", and "designed" emphasise your accomplishments. Don't use declarative sentences like "I developed the ..." or "I assisted in ...", leave out the "I". Avoid passive constructions, such as "was responsible for managing". Just say, "managed": that sounds stronger and more active.


Employers need to know what you have accomplished to have an idea of what you can do for them. Don't be vague. Telling someone that you "improved the company's efficiency" doesn't say much. But if you say that you "cut overhead costs by 20 per cent and saved the company Rs 20 lakh during the last fiscal year", you are more specific.


Employers will feel more comfortable hiring you if they can verify your accomplishments. There is a difference between making the most of your experience and exaggerating or falsifying it. A falsified resume can cost you the job later.


Check your resume for correct grammar and spelling - evidence of good communication skills and attention to detail. Nothing can ruin your chances of getting a job faster than submitting a resume filled with preventable mistakes. Make your resume easy on the eye. Use normal margins (1" on the top and bottom, 1.25" on the sides) and don't cram your text on the page. Allow for some space between the different sections. Avoid unusual or exotic fonts. Preferred fonts: Arial and Times Roman.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

21 Ways to Improve Your Online Resume

Today's job market requires a highly effective resume to capture the employer's attention. Based on the national survey I conducted of 600 Hiring Managers, here are 21 ways to help you improve your online resume.
Content! Keywords!
Since most employers sort resumes electronically, keywords and specifics that demonstrate your abilities, your accomplishments, and your past experiences are crucial to getting their attention.

Market Yourself Well
Begin with a summary of qualifications section that encapsulates your most marketable skills and experience into four to six sentences.

Demonstrate ResultsEmployers like proof that you can do the job. Note the action performed and conclude with the achieved result, noting how your employer benefited. Use numbers and percentages to show how money or time was saved. Example: Coordinated the annual conference, adding new speakers and innovative programs, which resulted in a 17% increase in attendance and an 18% increase in revenues.

Be Brief and Concise
One page, short and to the point works best. Be a skillful editor, deleting the portions which are not relevant or least helpful to your securing a particular position. Emphasize your most recent experience, the last five to seven years. Cover in detail the major job duties performed.

Be Targeted
Focus every resume to the job title being applied for. It's much more effective to create a different resume for each job title (i.e., one resume for Trainer, another for Program Director) and incorporate only the information pertinent to doing that job.

Visually Appealing
The formatting of an online resume must be kept readable, sharp and professional. Make sure sentences are concise and that there is adequate white space between points. Eliminate italics, bold formatting, and fancy fonts. Stick to Times Roman or Arial fonts; use 12 - 14 point size. Use bullets to emphasize important points.

Be Clear
No vague generalities. Say exactly what you mean, using the smallest number of words to make the point.

Be Accurate
State your skills, qualifications, and experience as positively as possible without exaggerating or misstating the truth. If your job responsibilities are not adequately described by your job title, indicate your abilities with appropriate terms (i.e. Events Coordinator, instead of Staff Coordinator) . List job titles, employers, and dates/years of employment.

Use Action Verbs
Start each sentence with a descriptive action verb - such as established, managed, organized. They add power to your sentences. And, never use "I" on the resume, only short impact sentences. Example: Designed the company's new marketing flyer.

Be Complete
Spell out names of schools, cities, abbreviations, and titles completely, since employers may not recognize abbreviations or acronyms.

Make Points Quickly
Complete sentences are not necessary in resume writing; it is better to use simple descriptive statements to make a point. Be sure any technical terms are understandable to non-technical personnel.

Justify Experience
In all your sentences, use past tense words since they imply that you "have done it" before. This reassures employers you can do it for them.

Be Perfect
The resume you send out must be flawless. No mistakes or typos, especially in emails. Typos are HR manager's chief complaint and they insist they won't hire offenders.

Proofread Carefully
Don't trust computer spell checkers. Read every word out loud to be sure it is correct.

Make it Readable
A crammed, cramped resume often goes unread. Make deletions wherever necessary to achieve a readable product. Use white space; bullets to highlight key points; and eliminate redundancies.

Avoid Graphics
Complex designs are distracting to the reader. Lines, boxes, shadings, fancy borders or clipart should be avoided as they cause major errors when sent electronically.

Don't Include Personal Statistics
It is no longer considered professional or wise to include information about marital status, gender, height, weight, health, or to insert a picture on your resume.

No Tag Lines
Employers know you'll provide references if they request them, therefore it is not necessary to put "References upon request" at the end of your resume.

Don't Advertise Negative Information
The resume is the wrong place to advertise that you were laid off, fired, or had an extended illness. Never state why you left a position; simply list the dates of employment. Don't mention what salary you want to receive. 
Be Current
Update information every six months. Keep a current resume on this website with email alert turned on to learn of promotions or new opportunities whenever you hear about them.

Final Test
Does your resume get results? Does your resume clearly and quickly communicate to employers that you can do the job? Do your strengths come across? Does everything support the job you are targeting? Should anything be removed? Are employers calling? If not, rework, get professional help or check out several resume books to help you improve yours.

Basics of a Good Resume

Writing a great resume does not necessarily mean you should follow the rules you hear through the grapevine. It does not have to be one page or follow a specific resume format. Every resume is a one-of-a-kind marketing communication. It should be appropriate to your situation and do exactly what you want it to do. with a little extra effort, you can create a resume that makes you really stand out as a superior candidate for a job you are seeking. Not one resume in a hundred follows the principles that stir the interest of prospective employers. So, even if you face fierce competition, with a well written resume you should be invited to interview more often than many people more qualified than you.The resume is a tool with one specific purpose: to win an interview. If it does what the fantasy resume did, it works. If it doesn't, it isn't an effective resume. A resume is an advertisement, nothing more, nothing less.
A great resume doesn't just tell them what you have done but makes the same assertion that all good ads do: If you buy this product, you will get these specific, direct benefits. It presents you in the best light. It convinces the employer that you have what it takes to be successful in this new position or career.

It is so pleasing to the eye that the reader is enticed to pick up your resume and read it. It "whets the appetite," stimulates interest in meeting you and learning more about you. It inspires the prospective employer to pick up the phone and ask you to come in for an interview. It is a mistake to think of your resume as a history of your past, as a personal statement or as some sort of self expression. Sure, most of the content of any resume is focused on your job history. But write from the intention to create interest, to persuade the employer to call you. If you write with that goal, your final product will be very different than if you write to inform or catalog your job history.
Most people write a resume because everyone knows that you have to have one to get a job. They write their resume grudgingly, to fulfill this obligation. Writing the resume is only slightly above filling out income tax forms in the hierarchy of worldly delights. If you realize that a great resume can be your ticket to getting exactly the job you want, you may be able to muster some genuine enthusiasm for creating a real masterpiece, rather than the feeble products most people turn out.