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How to Write a Winning Resume

 

The main purpose of a resume is to convince an employer to grant you an interview. There are two kinds. One is the familiar “tombstone” that lists where you went to school and where you have worked in chronological order. The other is what I call the “functional” resume ------ descriptive, fun to read, unique to you and much more likely to land you an interview.

It’s handy to have a “tombstone” for certain occasions. But prospective employers throw away most of the those unrequested “tombstone” lists, preferring to interview the quick rather than the dead.

What follows are tips on writing a functional resume that will get read ------ a resume that makes you come alive and look interesting to employers.

Put yourself first

 In order to write a resume which others will read with enthusiasm, you have to feel important about yourself.

   A woman once told me about a cash low crisis her employer had faced. Shed agreed to work without pay for three months until business improved. Her reward was her back pay plus a 20 percent bonus. I asked why that marvelous story wasnt in her resume. She answered,“It wasn’t important.”What she was really saying of course was“I’m not important.”

Sell what you can do, not who you are

Practice translating your personality traits, character, accomplishment, and achievements into skill areas. There are at least five thousand skill areas in the world of work.

    For example, if you have a flair for saving, managing and investing money, you have money management skills.

Toot your own horn

 Many people clutch when asked to think about their abilities. Some think they have none at all! But everyone does, and one of yours may just be the ticket an employer would be glad to punch ---- if only you show it.

Be specific, be concrete, and be brief !

One resume I received included the following:“invited by my superior to straighten out our organization’s accounts receivable. Set up orderly repayment schedule, reconciled accounts weekly, and improved cash flow 100 per cent. Rewarded with raise and promotion.”Notice how this woman focuses on results, specifies how she accomplished them, and mentions her reward—all in 34 words.

Turn bad news into good

 Everybody has had disappointment in work. If you have to mention yours, look for the positive side.

   A woman who lost her job as a teacher’s aide due to a cutback in government funding wrote:“Principal of elementary school cited me as the only teacher’s aide she would rehire if government funds became available.”

Never apologize

If you’re returning to the work force after fifteen years as a parent, simply write a short paragraph(summary of background) in place of a chronology of experience. Don’t apologize for working at being a mother: it’s the hardest job of all. If you have no special training or higher education, just don’t mention education.

An acquaintance complained of being biased when losing an opportunity due to the statement“Ready to learn though not so well educated”.

How to psych yourself up: The secret is to think about the self before you start writing about yourself. Take four or five hours off not necessarily consecutive, and simply write down every accomplishment in your life on or off the job. That made you feel effective. Don’t worry at first about what it all means. Study the list and try to spot patterns. As you study your list, you will come closer to the meaning: identifying your marketable skills. Once you discover patterns, give names to your cluster of accomplishments ( leadership skills, budget management skills, child development skills, etc.). Try to list at least three accomplishments under the same skills heading. Now start writing your resume as if you mattered. It may take four drafts or more, and several weeks, before you’ve ready to show it to a stranger ( friends are usually too kind ) for a reaction. When you’re satisfied, send it to a printer; a printed resume is far superior to photocopies. It shows an employer that you regard job hunting as serious work.

 

 

 

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