I was recently asked to touch up a friend’s resume. His challenge was simple. She was a housewife who hadn’t worked in four years. However, a difficult task, with the information in this section, I generated a list of abilities that she did not know she had. Here is a partial list.

(Organized, patient, detail-oriented, energetic, multi-tasking, works well under pressure, and is able to meet deadlines) Now ask yourself, what company wouldn’t want their new hire to display these skills?

The resume is a job search tool that highlights achievements by indicating your

profile, experience and training in a brief but concise summary.

Why a resume?

The resume is your first presentation to the employer. It’s the first work sample you’ll see. Your resume should interest the reader to the extent that he or she wants to interview you. Remember that the selection process is first a process of elimination. Employers use the resume to determine who they will call for further consideration.

For the resume, select white, cream, beige, or gray paper. Bright colored paper does not enhance a resume! A good bond is preferable to color. Buy envelopes that match the paper you select. never write your address; a handwritten envelope is highly unprofessional. If you’ve spent time putting together the perfect resume and printed it on quality paper, don’t ruin it with a poor presentation. By sending your information in a cheap envelope on which you have scribbled an address, all the positive effect is destroyed.

KEY POINTS TO CREATING A WINNING ABSTRACT

o Resumes do not receive job offers; they are successful if they offer you an interview.

o Describe your experience, not the job.

o Keep terminology simple and direct. Avoid technical jargon unless the resume is specifically aimed at a company or industry that understands the terms. Remember, the first person to see your resume may be an office worker and may not be familiar with the terminology. Use sparingly.

o Your resume is a personal marketing brochure, be sure to highlight relevant work experience and achievements.

o Support your profile throughout your resume.

o Resumes are not read, they are skimmed. First impressions are often made in 10-20 seconds.

o Appearance is paramount! Neatness counts. The resume must be perfect. No typos or misspelled words. (Don’t trust the spell checker.) A revision suggestion: read the document backwards.

Tip: Make sure your resume has a clear focus. Like many, you probably have experience in more than one field. Be careful not to demand a resume for all situations. Instead, create two or more resumes that showcase your skills like… and another that highlights your experience in… Target each one to specific companies looking for those specific skills.

Tip: Highlight your accomplishments on your resume. Support your profile by providing specific evidence (use numbers of sales made or people hired, etc.) of past and future achievements that show you add value. Describe how you have made improvements, saved your previous employer money, done innovative work, or solved problems. Do this and companies will want to interview you because they think you can do the same for their company.

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