Maryann Cox. Resume. September 23rd , 2017.
Resume writing is so challenging for this reason. It is the hardest form of persuasive writing. Why? Because there are few topics more difficult for most people to write about than themselves. That's why many people find better success in bringing in a professional resume writer to help out.
Traditional resumes are designed, as already noted, to compel the human reader, through persuasive language and design, to take further action and call you for an interview. Layout and page design are critical and should be planned strategically to draw the eye to areas of emphasis. The most effective traditional resumes are focused on achievements and written in powerful, active language that captures and holds the attention of the reader.
Limit Yourself to One Page - In contrast to the last point, you may not want to limit yourself to a 1-page resume. A common misconception is that a professional resume HAS to be one page. However, that's not really the case these days. I while back, before the miracles of technology, I may have agreed. But now that most resumes are being read on a computer screen versus on paper, there's no need to limit yourself in such a way. Those who try to cram all their info on 1-page resume usually resort to smaller font and zero spacing. When viewed on screen, this is not an attractive format and it's hard to read. Now, I'm not saying you should write a 20-page catalogue of your experiences, nor am I advocating the use of size 20 font. Instead, I would say 12-14 size font should suffice and I recommend you keep it at two pages. That leaves plenty of room to say what needs to be said. Of course, if you have limited experience then a 1-page resume will do just fine.
Text resumes (also referred to as ASCII resumes) are just what the name implies, an ASCII-formatted version of either your traditional or scannable resume. Text resumes are universally readable on all computer systems and platforms and are the preferred format when you are emailing your resume. An ASCII resume received in email can be entered directly into an applicant tracking system without the added step of needing to scan it. Entry into the system is fast, easy, and accurate and so many employers and recruiters prefer this format.
Write a Novel and Call it a Resume - I repeat: Do NOT write a novel and call it a resume. Too many people make this mistake. They want to write this wordy, drawn-out thesis outlining their life story and their career aspirations. They have all these skills and accomplishments and they want to include them all in there somewhere, but the problem is most people just don't know when to stop. Don't be afraid to leave out some of the details and explore those further in the interview process. My advice is to highlight only those aspects of your background which are most applicable for the job, or types of jobs, you are planning to apply for.
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