Tips for Writing a Great Resume
A resume’s goal is to communicate that you can, in fact, do the job you are applying for.
By Kizzy Preston
October 31, 2012
Writing a resume doesn’t have to be a painful process. The sole purpose of a resume is to show an employer that you have both the necessary skills and the experience to satisfactorily perform the tasks they are hiring for.
Tons of advice on how to write a resume can be found online. There are many different resume layouts you can use. You can write a resume that focuses on your skills, your past work experience, your education, or even your creativity. In the end, however, your resume’s goal is to communicate that you can, in fact, do the job you are applying for.
Hiring managers often go through hundreds of resumes per day. It is important that your resume is clear, easy to understand, and gives enough information about your experience.
The following are some helpful tips to guarantee that your resume is ready to be sent out.
1. Check your grammar. A resume that is laden with typos and grammatical errors is sure to be deleted from the hiring manager’s emails, or thrown into the shredder. If you cannot take the time to ensure that your resume is error-free, how can an employer trust you to be detail—oriented on the job?
2. List dates of employment. An employer wants to know how much experience you have. Simply put, what jobs did you do and how long did you do them? It is not enough to put on your resume that you worked for a certain company. You must also list the dates you worked there.
I suggest using the month and year format. It is not sufficient to say that you worked for a company from 2011-2012. This tells an employer nothing. There is a big difference between someone who worked for a company from December 2011- January 2012 and someone who worked from January 2011-December 2012.
3. Don’t list personal information. A potential employer does not need to see on your resume (or in your cover letter) that you have children, that you left your last job because you moved to another state with your significant other, or that you have a medical condition.
Also, while it is good to show personality on your resume, I would stay away from listing any extracurricular activities that would indicate to a potential employer your race, gender, political affiliation, etc.
4. Be detailed. Since the employer wants to know that you are capable of doing the job they are hiring for, it is important to give a detailed account of what you did in your past jobs. It is not good to simply put that you were a receptionist for a certain company for one year. You have to detail what you actually did on the job so that they can see how those skills translate to the job for which they are hiring.
5. Match your resume to the job. You want to have the best possible chance of being called for an interview when you submit your resume for a job. It is important to tailor your resume to the job you are applying for.
If the job ad says, for example, they want someone who has “great sales experience”, then you need to highlight on your resume ways you have excelled in sales.
Before you apply for that next job, follow these five simple steps to create a clean and polished resume.