A résumé is by definition a summary of personal qualifications and other experience presented for the purpose of communication to a prospective employer. This definition falls short of explaining the real objective a résumé; the single personal marketing medium that for a brief period commands the reader’s undivided attention. Properly written, this document can shape the employer’s opinion of your qualifications and experience, compelling them to schedule a job interview.
A résumé highlights your skills related to your career interests. It connects your story to a career. Employers initially scan a resume for 30 to 60 seconds so you need to communicate your story clearly and concisely to land the interview.
Your résumé is an advertisement designed to make people want to learn more about you. If you put too much information in they won’t want to know more about you because they will never read it. This is your opportunity to look your best; pick your top MOST RELEVANT skills. Essentially the goal of the résumé is to highlight your qualifications and accomplishments in a concise manner so as to intrigue the client. A successful resume has three components:
A successful résumé is formatted in an eye-pleasing manner. You want to follow typical formatting by using similar fonts and bold facing similar things. For example, if you bold face your previous employer name then you should bold face every employer that you list throughout the résumé. Again, the formatting should be eye catching but should not take away from the actual meat of the resume – your accomplishments
Make sure it is relevant and concise. The goal of your résumé is to create interest with the potential employer so that they want to ask additional questions. We don’t prescribe to the belief that a resume must be a certain length, but instead be as long as it needs to be while containing only relevant information.
Example Resumes in PDF
Example Resumes in Word
FAQs about Writing a Résumé
Q: Should my resume be just one page?
A: While wanting it to be concise, never limit yourself. If all of the pertinent information you want to share spills into page two that is not a problem at all.
Q: I have recently moved and it had been difficult finding work. What can I do to enhance my résumé?
A: The key is to make sure you write an accomplishment résumé as opposed to a job-description résumé. Focus on what YOU specifically accomplished. What did you do that was unique, special, different, or distinctive? Think of your accomplishments in terms of scope and results.
Q: Should I include my educational background?
A: Education, professional designations and things of that nature should always be listed but people should refrain from listing a bunch of proprietary or employer specific training that holds no relevancy to other firms as well as general seminars and “classes” they take. Those lists get long and detract from the ones you want to stand out. More common with carrier people but I see it with agency folks too.
Q: If I was at an employer for a short time, should I still include the experience on my résumé?
A: Even though it may not look the most flattering, listing a short stint with an employer is better than a gap. Most likely an employer will go digging and wouldn’t want them to think you intentionally omitted something.
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