Three Rules for Writing a Resume

These three rules will help you write compelling resumes that get your past the initial screening process.

1. Companies do not hire resumes, they hire people.
2. Be clear, be concise, be correct.
3. Positive actions pay.

Now let's explore each rule.

  1. Companies do not hire resumes, they hire people.

— Remember that the resume is the first step of a long process.  This process involves people and the people in the process are busy; they want to be efficient, and they want to have a little fun at work – just like you do.

— Every interaction you have with this company (especially your resume, but also phone calls, interview, etc.) reflects you and what kind of person you are, so be professional, be memorable, be you.

— Make your resume make you come across like a person. It's not a recipe:
5 years of experience
3 previous employers
turn the page
2 degrees
move on to the next resume

it's you...so tell your story:
Not an entry-level employee; five years of experience solving customers problems and meeting sales objectives
Learned the business from three successful managers
Added practical work experience serving customers in addition to foundational academic preparation

2. Be clear, be concise, be correct.
— To be “clear” you must avoid slang, jargon, acronyms, or abbreviations that the reader may not understand.  You should also use an accepted format, like chronological or functional, to guide the reader.

— To be “concise” you must avoid all articles.  For instance, do not say  “I fixed my company’s distribution problem by logging all pending transactions.” when you could say “Fixed company’s distribution problems by creating transaction log.”

— To be “correct” do not unnecessarily embellish your participation in a project. Also, do not claim a particular expertise when you are only slightly familiar with something (like a computer language, foreign language, or piece of equipment.)  On the other hand, do not be shy.  If you have novice or introductory training in something, let them know.  That way they do not waste training dollars on a skill you already have.

3. Positive actions pay.

— When describing what you have done, always focus on the positive actions you have taken to improve your area, master your job, or solve problems.

— When describing your past experiences, do not say you went to work everyday for 5 years and made no meaningful contribution. Instead, tell them about the time you were awarded for good performance, or how you were promoted to positions of greater responsibility.  

— Show them that not only can you do your job, but you also do it well!

Now let us look at some resume types and talk about why we use them.

Continue...to learn about chronological and functional resumes.

Buy: Bundle Package | Functional Resume | Chronological Resume | Cover Letter

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