Your Resume: Your Career Passport
resume an effective ambassador to open doors of opportunity for you or is it
obstructing your progress? Resumes are the most important job-search tool,
yet surprisingly, employers and recruiters often see little attention being
paid to resume structure and content.
Take a good look at your resume. Does it represent you well? Is it an
interesting record of achievements or just a list of present and past job
descriptions? You need to ensure that hiring managers and their assistants
can quickly identify your skills and qualifications and bring you forward
for follow up. You must make it easy for AAT software -- Automated Applicant
Tracking -- to read and classify your qualifications when you submit
As a self-marketing tool it must capture reader-interest within the
top-third of the document and also assist AAT software in marking you for
review. As an interviewing resource it serves as talking points to highlight
your skills, qualifications and experience. As a quick-reference guide to
your accomplishments it should record your achievements in order of
importance and relevance.
Include your home email address under your telephone number for easy
reference. Some employers won't call a home telephone number but will send
an email if there is one noted.
Next, create a Skills Summary section instead of the standard Job Objective
to note as many of your skills and qualifications as you can. Avoid making
bland statements. Every word counts here. Most people are looking for
progress and advancement. What are the keywords that identify what you know
and have experience with? Be very concise. Think in terms of nouns not
action verbs in describing your experience. Instead of writing, "managed the
sales force", write "Sales Manager". Instead of writing, "looking to join a
company where I can best use my talents and skills", list those skills:
Management, Logistics, Operations, Air Cargo, Exports, Imports,
Administration, and so on. These keywords will be picked up by both human
and cyber resume readers. Capture the reader's attention in the first few
seconds and you increase the chance of being contacted for an interview.
Don't just write your job duties under Business Experience. Write five to
seven points for each position held, stressing improvements made, new
business or profits generated, new products/services launched, cost-savings
realized, customers served, developed or retained, new and innovative
solutions created. How did you create value for your employer? These are
your key selling points and should reflect the keywords in your Skills
Summary section. Note your working experience with the most recent job
first. Edit and then re-edit the Business Experience points until you have a
document that is focused on your contributions.
Structure your resume in terms of strength, putting the strongest section
first. If your education isn't strong, put that section after your Business
Experience. Under Education, list your accomplishments with the most recent
first. Note the year that you graduated or completed certain training
programs or seminars.
Insert your cover letter text as part of your email message rather than as a
separate attachment accompanying your resume. Opening two documents instead
of one is time-consuming. Save your document with your first and last name
in the filename. This makes your document easy to identify. You could note
in abbreviated form the position you are applying to in the filename too.
Anything that saves the reader time and identifies you quickly is a plus.
Take the time to
create a streamlined and focused career document. Your resume is your
passport to a new future. Make sure yours can take you where you want to
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