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How To Write A Résumé

Figure out what you want to do.

You can't write an effective résumé if you have no job target. What I mean by this is you need to tailor your résumé to the specific job you want to apply to. Gone are the days of sending out 400 copies of the same résumé.

Make a list of the jobs you have held that have relevance to the new job target.

If none exists, what skills did you acquire from those jobs that apply to the one you are seeking? For instance, if you are applying for an administrative assistant position, it is possible that your fast food job does not apply and should be left off. However, one exception would be if you were in a managerial position and had restaurant paperwork you were responsible for (like inventory, ordering, reports, and bank deposits).

Know what things you should NOT put on your résumé. (See Common Résumé Mistakes - linked below).

Make sure you stand out without being excessive.

Start with a blank page (no templates) and work on a design. Now is not the time to be overly colorful or super creative. Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager. Imagine you have received 345 e-mails from job seekers within 12 hours of posting a position. What would catch your eye? Think of what would be a refreshing change and go for it.

Now for the actual résumé content.

There are typically five basic sections in a résumé.

* Contact Information - Powerful and complete.

* Headline - State what you are offering.

* Skills Summary - Quickly highlight your relevant skills.

* Professional Experience - Relevant and accomplishment oriented. Use action verbs to start your sentences and avoid the word "I".

* Education - List college or trade schools only. Leave off high school unless you are a recent graduate without experience.

Notice I did not list objective statement. For the reason why, visit my section on common résumé mistakes (see below).

Proofread it, have your friends proofread it, and then do it two more times.

I want to stress how important it is to do this. Check for spelling errors that the spell checker missed. Print it out and review it, because this seems to make you read over it more thoroughly. Watch out for poor grammar, punctuation errors, and redundancy.

Always send it with a cover letter.

Address the cover letter specifically to the company and job posting. Make a note of how you heard of the opening and why you are the best candidate. Hit the highlights of what you have to offer them so they are intrigued and interested in reading your résumé.

Jennifer Anthony is the owner of ResumeASAP, offering professional and affordable résumé writing services.

Common Résumé Mistakes

If you have comments about this article, or if you are interested in learning more about professional résumé writing, please contact Jennifer Anthony by e-mail or by calling 1-888-722-5211.

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