Enough talking - now it's time to get to the fine print and see it for yourself. Below are some examples of how resumes can look. Some can be more visually appealing, while others are more business-oriented. Both are fine ways of doing a resume, you have to know which would be best for what kind of job you are looking for. There are perks for each one. For example, visually stimulating resumes can be great to the eye, but you must be careful how much information to put on there. For a more casual resume, using more lines and words to organize than graphics and color, you have more information to work with, but you won't have as pretty a presentation (which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you are applying for a more formal job). Let's go over some additional elements to be aware of before showing some examples:
Use a template if needed: Writing a resume from scratch is a great trait, but using a template can help you make sure you get all the basic information that can help you get the job. It helps you stay focused on what you need so there isn't any unnecessary information left in and necessary information left out. Remember our one-page rule we had this month? A template also helps you keep to one page and not overdo your words. Finally, a template can help you pick and choose what information is most important. Remember: not every little thing you've done in life should go on a resume, or it's liable to fly into the employer's trash bin. It's a process of elimination!
Presentation is key: Presentation doesn't always have to mean you've got vivid colors and fifty pictures on your resume, which I don't recommend. However, cleanliness and organization are the most important factors when an employer looks at a resume. Keep information organized. Don't put two skills involving writing in different places. How you present yourself on that paper matters. Make sure your resume has a clean look and is well-balanced if you decide to use photos. The goal is to guide the employer through the page. Another important thing to remember is to not have too much white space in one area; Hence, a well-balanced resume. Although this point is primarily for those who want a visual resume, these key factors also will help those without visuals in a resume.
Some Key places to find resume examples or templates include:
Due to Copywriting rights, Purdue OWL only allows a PDF view, so below is a PDF of their resume example:
Applying for a job may seem stressful, but if you go into it knowing fully what your resume says, you have a better chance of nailing that new job title. If you write a paper in school that you didn't take time to organize or review, you won't get as good a grade on it as you would have if you had cleaned it up. If you go up to present a PowerPoint to the class, but you never reviewed it and just stuck some random notes from random sites on there, aside from it being plagiarism from no citations, you won't have a clue what you are saying – and neither will anyone else. Confidence begins with a clean, organized resume you truly know, because you've thought about it and re-worked it numerous times. A person can tell if you've just slapped together snidbits of information about yourself and laid it before them.
So, now that you know some resume basics from last week's article, it's time to clear up a few more details before handing out that white beacon of hope.
Have Clear, Concise Wording – The Use of your English is more important than people realize for a resume. You use it for everything, including resumes. Three words stick out for the English portion of resumes: clear, short and professional. Getting to the meat of what you are trying to say is important. So, instead of wording a phrase like, “I have always been really good at communicating with others who I truly am” to try to sell yourself, the employer will most likely get tired of reading after “really.” There’s five words you have to drag your eyes through before you get down to the meat! And it is not professionally stated. Instead, that same phrase could cut to about half the size: “I effectively communicate my intentions to others.” Sound more confident? Sound professional? Sound short? Good! Let’s keep going.
The Fewer Words You Use, The Better – This will help with the next step. No need to add all those adjectives and pronouns, and definitely no paragraphs! Instead, make lists, bullets and one-liners. In this case, it is not necessary to really make a full sentence, but if you do choose to, at least keep it to one line. The employer should be able to skim through it and get everything he needs from it. He’s not looking to make sure you hyphenated that word or added the apostrophe at the end – although if that is needed in the short phrases you’ve provided, definitely put them. Make two words into one. Make a sentence into a phrase. Take out definitions and words that are unnecessary. If you can do without it and still get to the point you are trying to make, there is no need for the word.
1-Page Rule - Once you've gotten the most information you can get for where you've worked, your skills, your education, etc., it's almost time to narrow the scope based on the job you are applying for. But first, let's put ourselves in the shoes of the employer for a minute. If we were needing to find someone to work a certain job, and a hundred people sent in their resumes applying for it every day, those resumes better stick out or they get chunked. With all the other responsibilities we would have, looking at every detail in every resume would be low on our to-do list until we've picked the ones that stuck out. The fewer pages an employer has to fumble through will be more likely read. Some employers who really have this problem will throw out any resume longer than one page because they don't have time to read everyone's life story. They are looking for someone who gets to the point and quick!
If you’re writing a resume for the first time, it can be intimidating to figure out what's really needed and what's not. One thing beginners often don't know is they can put more than just jobs on an application. That’s why it’s important to be involved in extracurricular activities in high school before finding a job. Unless you “know a guy” or work for your mom or pop's company as your first job, most likely you won’t have much to place on a resume. Perhaps that is why most employers don’t start people off turning in resumes until they are in upper management, and rarely do people begin their first job in management. If they do, they have grand skills in the art of communication and resume writing that I want to learn – or they “know a guy.” Most employers know when someone is fresh out of high school, but that doesn't rule the student out from getting the job he or she wants. By law, it can't. Depending on what that lovely piece of paper you've provided tells them, they may or may not slip it into the trash pile.
If it's your first time writing a resume, and you don't have a lot of work experience, you may be stumped on what to place on a resume if an employer asks for one. Here are a few good rules of thumb to help guide your resume in the right direction:
Things First-Timers Need to Know
Sell, Sell, Sell! - Sell yourself to the employer. Play on your strengths and twist your weaknesses to where they can become strengths. For example, maybe one of your weaknesses is you are a slow learner. But, slow learners, once the information is grasped, know it to a "T." And, it shows you are doing your best to effectively learn the material you need to learn. Take the negative and make it a positive, especially if you are asked this in an interview.
Make Everything Count – If you've never worked a job in your life, it's tough to find things to put under your previous work experience. This is where working community service for school, sports, band, student congress, church work and more come in handy. Write everything you've ever been involved in down, then go back and ask yourself, What tasks did I perform while involved here, and how will these tasks help me get the job I want? List them underneath each thing you've been involved in.
Be Organized – One of the most important ways employers can tell how your brain works is how well you present your resume. Make sure you are aware of how you group things, and make sure it can be clear to anyone what you did. You can organize it by grouping categories together, or perhaps you'd rather list things based on importance. It's your choice, as long as the employer understands it. Organization is a big key to an effective resume, because it is designed to guide the reader through the paper.
There are many ways to effectively write and present a resume. If you follow these few basic guidelines, you are one step closer to claiming that job you want to jump-start your career.
Everyone at some point in life will need to write a resume for something – a job, a college entry, possibly a volunteer position. Most of the resumes we see are for getting a job. But a resume's purpose, no matter what you are using it for, is to sell yourself before you step through the front doors. To make any kind of success in any place you are trying to climb up the ladder, a resume or the like will be needed. Resumes can be used for so many different things that can benefit you immensely.
Resumes are important in any profession or college because they will catapult you to where you are trying to go. You have the choice what you want your employer, supervisor, etc. to know about you. When employers are seeking resumes for positions they are hiring for, they generally want them to be as short as possible, but with as much information as you can give. This is where the writing skills come in. To have a more successful and impressive resume, you need a clean-cut, organized, informative copy, with few words saying a lot. It also includes a lot of thought.
Let’s say you’ve worked for Applebee’s, Children’s Church and the UPS Store previously. A job just opened for a Food Manager at Logan’s Roadhouse, so you are excited to put your application in! But, they only give you instructions to put one previous job experience (this is highly unlikely, but for the sake of keeping this blog short, we’re using one previous experience). You obviously have to choose which would look the best with what you are applying for. So, which one out of that list would you choose? Applebee's! You need to show them you have worked in a food environment and probably have the certification needed already to do the job. They are looking for someone who has a similar background since it’s easier on them to train you. Critical thinking plays a major role in what to place and how to place it.
Your audience is a great factor in your resume. You don’t have to put every job, organization or college you’ve worked or attended on your resume. You can place the ones that matter most to this company, organization or college. That’s what I will try to help you with this month: the difference in resumes, and how to determine the important things from the unimportant things – and how to organize it all in the fewest words possible. So keep your hands and feet inside the cart as we go on the road to your success!
To Our Readers
Please feel free to comment below with any specific question you might have about resumes! We're all in this together, so you may struggle with the same things others struggle with! We're here to help!
FROM THE WRITER
This is a blog site where tips, information and other help is given to fellow writers in need of a brush up, a tip or a source. Comment, share or just enjoy!