Working with Purpose
The purpose of a resume is not to land you a job, but rather to get you in the door for an interview. This concept is important because it will help you familiarize yourself with the resume process. When you feel compelled to include unrelated experience and clutter a resume with irrelevant facts, think twice. Don’t fill the page with empty sentences and boring detail. You can avoid this downfall by prioritizing your accomplishments and identifying pertinent information related to your new job search.
Begin the resume writing process with the end in mind. Before you commit final words to paper, think about what you want the end result to be. Nothing on your resume should be done without prior thought and strategizing. This includes your choice of font, format, keywords, and action words. Every aspect of your document should serve a distinct purpose.
Important tip: Avoid resume templates. Let’s face it, almost all home-spun resumes are created on some form of a Word template. Therefore, they all have the same feel, taste, and look as every other candidate. Be different. Be powerful. Be specific. Get INTERVIEWS.
Be Aggressive, But Truthful
A resume is not a time to be humble. Be proud of your accomplishments, highlight them, and make the hiring manager take notice. But beware: don’t let your creativity get the best of you. Your statements should always be truthful and results-oriented. Let’s visit an example of a weak and strong Objective/Profile.
Weak: Seeking a position as a bilingual teacher where I could make a positive impact on students in your school district.
Strong: Experienced bilingual educator dedicated to fostering education by creating a stimulating, nurturing, and culturally-friendly environment for bilingual students. Keen understanding of the importance of student assimilation and the need for respect of their native upbringing. Adhere to new procedures and commissioner regulations for LEP and adequately incorporate these methodologies in a classroom setting to enhance learning.
Today’s resumes must answer “why you?” Strong, powerful statements will ensure that your resume does not end up in the “file me” pile.
Everyone who holds the same job title as you most likely has the same job responsibilities. That is why it is imperative that your resume sets you apart from all other bankers, sales managers, etc. out there. This means your resume must be dynamic, grab attention, and offer unique information.
Writing a resume is tough work. If it does not come easily to you, don’t be alarmed. You are not the only one. If you find presenting yourself on paper properly difficult to do, consult resume writing books or a professional resume writer. The job search process is taxing enough. Don’t allow words on paper to taint your approach to gaining a job.
Recognized as a career expert, Linda Matias brings a wealth of experience to the career services field. She has been sought out for her knowledge of the employment market, outplacement, job search strategies, interview preparation, and resume writing, quoted a number of times in The Wall Street Journal, New York Newsday, Newsweek, and HR-esource.com. She is president of CareerStrides and the National Resume Writers’ Association. Visit her website at www.careerstrides.com or email her at email@example.com.