A resume is one of the most important tools you can use in your job search. Whether you are new to the work force, in career transition, needing to update your resume, or would like to customize your resume for a particular job, a Career Placement Advisor can assist you. We can provide you with resume-writing tips and one-on-one consultation to help critique your resume.
TARGET THE EMPLOYER
Everything in your resume should be directed toward one goal: Getting a specific job at a particular company. No two resumes should be alike. Each one of your resumes should be uniquely targeted to an audience of ONE.
Don't just update your old résumé
- If you haven't been on the job hunt for many years, it can be tempting to simply pull out the last résumé you used, add your most recent accomplishments and send it out. But the document could be many years old, which means the content is likely outdated.
DEFINE YOURSELF IN TERMS OF SKILLS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Focus on the bottom line
- Companies today are looking for ways to reduce expenses and increase efficiencies. When detailing the positions you've held in the past, be sure to mention how you've helped boost a former employer's bottom line. If you worked as an administrative assistant, rather than saying "filed documents" or "answered phones," try something like this: "Identified new office-supplies vendor, resulting in cost savings of 25 percent."
Consider your form
- Identify a resume style you are comfortable with and best reflects your skill set:
Chronological: This style of resume lists your work experience in chronological order starting with your most recent job. It is ideal if you have stable work history, your most recent position reflects the strongest aspect of your work experience, and the position you are pursuing is in a field in which you have a strong background.
Functional: This resume is created without employment dates or company names and emphasizes your skills and responsibilities without disclosing when or where you developed the skills. It is often used if you have been unemployed for long periods of time, changed jobs frequently, or are changing careers.
Combination/Targeted: This resume neatly combines the flexibility of the functional resume with the chronological job history that employers expect. This style of resume has two primary sections: an experience section organized by skill sets and a job history section organized chronologically. This resume is very popular with many recruiters as it clearly outlines a candidate’s skills and eliminates restating skills that may be reflected under multiple job titles.
USE ACTION VERBS TO BOOST YOUR RESUME’S APPEAL
- If you want a prospective employer to take notice of your resume, you will need to use words that jump off the paper.
USE A COVER LETTER
- The cover letter allows you to address any concerns an employer may have about gaps in your work history. In it, explain how you've kept your skills up-to-date since your last full-time position, whether through temporary assignments, volunteer work or professional development courses.
- Why a Cover Letter?
- Cover Letter Sample
SIZE UP THE COMPANY AND CONSIDER DELIVERING YOUR RESUME IN PERSON
- If you've made a ton of phone calls and haven't gotten your foot in the door, try dropping off a resume yourself. Drive to that office. Get your foot in the door. This works best in small to medium companies or family-owned businesses.
- Resumes: The Basics
- Resumes: Know the No-No's
- Keywords: Key to Better Resumes