The following information can help you create your resume.
If you need further assistance, please stop by our office.
1. What IS a resume anyway?
2.What's a resume ABOUT?
3. What's the FASTEST way to improve a resume?
4. What is the COMMON MISTAKE made by resume writers?
Leaving out their Job Objective! (Equivalent to: Somebody knocks on your door. You open it and say, "Hello, what do you want?" They say, "Duh ...")
5. What's the FIRST STEP in writing a resume?
6. HOW FAR BACK should you go in your Work History?
7. Don't include "Hobbies" on a resume.
8. Don't include ethnic or religious affiliations (inviting pre-interview discrimination) UNLESS it SUPPORTS your job objective.
9. Employers HATE parchment paper and pretentious brochure-folded resume "presentations."
10. Don't fold a laser-printed resume right along a line of text.
11. Don't MYSTIFY the reader about your SEX; they'll go nuts til they know whether you're male or female.
12. What if you don't have any EXPERIENCE in the kind of work you want to do?
GET SOME! Find a place that will let you do some VOLUNTEER work right away. You only need a brief, concentrated period of volunteer training (for example, 1 day/week for a month) to have at least SOME experience to put on your resume.
Also, look at some of the volunteer work you've done in the past and see if any of THAT helps document some skills you'll need for your new job.
13. What if you have GAPS in your work experience?
You could start by LOOKING at it differently. If you were doing ANYTHING valuable (though unpaid) during those so-called "gaps," you could just insert THAT into the work-history section of your resume to fill the hole--for example: "2004-2005 Full-time parent" or "2002-2003 Maternity leave and family management" or "Travel and study," or "Full-time student," or, "Parenting plus community service."
14. What if you worked for only ONE employer for 20 or 30 years?
15. What if you have a fragmented, scrambled-up work history, with lots of short-term jobs?
To minimize the job-hopper image, combine several similar jobs into one "chunk," for example:
2003-2005 Secretary/receptionist - Jones Bakery; Micro Corp.; Carter Jewelers.
OR 2004-2006 Waiter/Busboy - McDougal's Restaurant; Burger-King; Traders Coffee Shop.
ALSO you can just DROP some of the less-important or briefest jobs. But DON'T drop a job, even when it lasted a short time, if that was where you acquired important skills or experience.
16. Students can make their resume look neater by listing seasonal jobs very simply.
17. What if your job title doesn't reflect your actual level of responsibility?
18. Got your degree from a different country?
19. What if you don't quite have your degree or credentials yet?
You can say "Eligible for U.S. credentials," or "Graduate studies in Instructional Design, in progress," or "Masters Degree anticipated May, 2008."
20. What if you have several different job objectives you're working on at the same time?
21. If you're over 40 or 50 or 60 and want to avoid age discrimination, remember that you DON'T have to present your ENTIRE work history!
You can simply label that part of your resume "Recent Work History" or "Relevant Work History" and then describe only the last 10 or 15 years of your experience.
(If something really important belongs in the distant past, here's what to do: at the end of your 10-15 year work history, you can add a paragraph headed "Prior relevant experience" and simply refer to that ancient job without mentioning dates.)
22. Can't decide whether to use a Chronological-style resume or a Functional one?
23. Want to impress an employer?
Fill your resume with "PAR" statements. PAR stands for Problem-Action-Results, in other words, first you state the problem that existed in your workplace, then you describe what YOU did about it, and finally you point out the beneficial results.
Here's an example:
"Transformed a disorganized, inefficient warehouse into a smooth-running operation by totally redesigning the layout; this saved the company $250,000 in recovered stock."
"Improved an engineering company's obsolete filing system by developing a simple but sophisticated functional-coding system. This saved time and money by recovering valuable, previously lost project records."
24. What if you never had any "real" paid mainstream jobs - just self-employment or odd jobs?
Give yourself credit, and create an accurate, fair job-title for yourself. For example, "A&S Hauling & Cleaning (self-employed)" or "Household Repairman--Self-employed," or "Child-Care--Self-employed." Be sure to add "Customer references available on request" and then be prepared to provide some very good references of people you worked for.
JobStar Recommends for Great Resumes