Joann Hanson. Resume. September 17th , 2017.
One of the first misconceptions is that a resume writer should have samples and templates available to share with prospective clients. I can describe the method I use but I cannot share resumes I've completed due to a signed confidentiality agreement. More importantly, I don't have samples as every resume I write is custom-developed and designed for each new client. Another misconception is that a resume has to be limited to a single page. What happens is that people who take this approach will use small font sizes and/or try to fill the one page with so much wording that it becomes almost impossible to read, and for most resumes it sells the person's career short. For those candidates who have developed significant career experience it is not unlikely that their resume will consist of two or three pages of content. Of course the caveat is that it should not be pages filled with verbose wording and hard to read paragraphs that have been typed in a small font size. A resume must be easy to read and highlight the best of a person's career, from their skills to their accomplishments.
Contrary to what you might think, the most-read part of your resume is not your name. When there are hundreds of resumes to review, names matter little in initial evaluations. The most read part of your resume is your Profile or Experience Summary. If your resume is missing this section, you are losing your best opportunity to create interest. It used to be common to put an Objective at the top of your resume. However, the Profile or Experience Summary section has completely replaced the Objective section. Why? It is a quick 3-4 sentence overview of your qualifications. This acts as an Executive Summary for a reviewer where you clearly point out why you are the best candidate for this specific position. If you don't generate interest in this section, your chances of further review or even an interview are slim.
Have a Strong Objective Statement - Although this is a matter of some debate these days, I firmly believe a strong, concise Objective Statement can go a long way. First off, it immediately tells the reader what job you are applying for. That can be a big deal when you're submitting your resume to a HR representative who has their hands full with many different job openings. Recruiters as well. And if you're a senior manager, you don't want to get thrown in the pile with the mail clerks, right? Not only that, but an effective Objective Statement will briefly summarize your qualifications so a hiring manager can make an instantaneous decision whether or not to keep reading. They do that anyways, so why not address their needs in the intro and add value by showing them what you have to offer right off the bat. Remember, I'm only talking about one sentence here. One sentence to market yourself. Once sentence to spark their interest. You don't want to give the reader too much to think about, rather you want them to proceed on and read the rest of your resume. So grab their attention, establish your professional identity, show them your value, and let them move on to the good stuff!
Take Your Resume Seriously - As previously stated, if you don't take your resume seriously then your resume will not be TAKEN seriously. If you choose not to work with a professional, then at the very least have an impartial third-party edit it for you and give you some constructive feedback. This is for your own sake. What happens when you accidentally type 'Manger' instead of 'Manager'? Do you think Spell Check is going to bail you out? Whatever you do, don't send it out to potential employers without having someone else look it over. Some people just need to swallow their pride because when it comes right down to it, you may be the best at what you do, but if you don't write resumes for a living then chances are there's someone out there more qualified to write your resume than you are. Please consider that if you're serious about being taken seriously!
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.
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