Top 10 Resume Writing Tips to Get You the Interview

by: Kathi MacNaughton

There are many reasons why you could be in the market for a new job right now. Perhaps…

==> You just graduated from high school–or even better, college–and you’re ready to strike out on a quest for your first “real” job.

==> Your worst fears finally manifested and you’ve been downsized.

==> You’re bored with the career path you’ve been on for the past few years, and you’re ready to strike out in a new direction.

==> You want to change jobs (within your field) for better salary, benefits, or chance at promotion.

Whatever your motivation, a powerful resume is essential. In truth, a resume alone won’t get you that dream job you’re craving. Not even if you implement every resume writing tip you can get your hands on!

But a great resume will get you in the door for an interview. It will make you stand out as a superior candidate for the job you’ve applied for. And that achievement is huge, given the fierce competitive nature of today’s job market. Not only that, but a well-crafted resume will put the decision-maker you meet with in a hiring frame of mind. As long as you don’t blow the interview, you’ll have a great shot at that job!

Digest and apply each resume writing tip below as you craft a powerful resume that will make all the difference in your adventure to land a job!

POWERFUL RESUME WRITING TIPS: 10 Steps to Success

Resume Writing Tip #1: Gather your background materials. To complete your resume, you’ll need to know your dates of employment at each of your previous jobs and when you went to school. You’ll also need to be able to describe your skills and accomplishments on the job, so put some thought into those areas.

Resume Writing Tip #2: Decide on a format. Before you can start writing a resume, you’ll need to decide if the functional or chronological format will work best for you. Remember, you want to put yourself and your abilities in the best light.

Resume Writing Tip #3: Put together a general outline. A resume outline will help you get organized and will prevent you from overlooking any essential pieces of information that should be included.

Resume Writing Tip #4: If your resume is targeted at a specific employer or career path, learn all you can about what they need. Spending time on this research will help you with your resume, with the cover letter that goes with your resume, and with the upcoming interview. Make sure you know what qualities will most benefit the employer and think about how your abilities match those qualities. (Read another resume writing tip on how to target.)

Resume Writing Tip #5: Plan, plan, plan. Before you actually start writing, spend time just thinking about how you’ll present yourself in the resume. What is your objective in seeking a job? This objective should serve as a sort of bull’s-eye to structure your resume around. What have been your most significant accomplishments? You’ll want to highlight them. What unique qualities do you bring to an employer? Think in terms of benefits. Also think about the resume design you’ll use, the fonts within, and the resume wording .

Resume Writing Tip #6: Start writing, following your outline. Take your time. Use a lot of action words . Be concise. Don’t use “responsibilities included” or “responsible for.” It’s a waste of space. Use bullets, rather than long paragraphs.

Resume Writing Tip #7: Cut and paste your content into your resume template. If you’re at this site, you’re probably not an experienced, professional resume writer. So, take a resume writing tip from a pro. Use a resume template . There is no reason why your resume must look amateurish.

Resume Writing Tip #8: Review, edit, and proofread like a maniac. One of the biggest resume mistakes is typos or grammatical errors. These errors may seem trivial, but they can cost you the interview, and ultimately the job. After all, if you can’t be bothered to make sure that your resume is 100% accurate, what guarantee is there that your job performance will be high caliber?

Resume Writing Tip #9: Get someone else you trust to look at it. It can be really helpful to get someone who knows you to look at your resume. Not only are they more likely to catch simple errors, but they may point out strengths you’ve missed or underemphasized. Tell them you want their honest opinion and you’re open to questions. Use their input to clarify your resume. Even if you write your own resume, you may want to think about getting a professional to do a resume critique .

Resume Writing Tip #10: Send it out into the world. The more resumes you submit, the more likely you are to get an interview. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket by applying for only one job. And, don’t be afraid to take some risks and apply for a job you’re interested in, even if you don’t quite match all the qualifications. Most employers ask for many more qualifications than they absolutely require.

Hopefully, at least one resume writing tip on this page has given you some food for thought. But don’t stop your training here!

About The Author

Kathi MacNaughton, a freelance writer and editor, has years of management and recruitment experience. For tips & advice on writing powerful resumes, see http://www.powerful-sample-resume-formats.com.

Copyright 2004 Kathi MacNaughton. All rights reserved.

kathi@powerful-sample=resume-formats.com


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