Life has often been summed up as being about a certain set of “rules”. Follow these rules and you are generally headed in the right direction. Ignore the rules and you will most likely experience failure. This theory also applies to a career path.
When it comes to writing resumes, there are some clear rules that can spell success in a job search. While some rules are meant to be stretched a little, staying within the lines with a resume design can help you to gain an interview that can be the beginning of a brand new career. Use these rules to your advantage as you write an outstanding resume.
Rule #1 – Use the Right Resume Format
Whether you are a new college graduate or a seasoned industry pro, the format of your resume counts. Use this as a guideline: If you have at least two to ten years of experience relevant to the career you want, use a chronological resume format. If you have less or more than this experience, use a skills based resume format to avoid aging yourself.
Rule #2 – Include Your Contact Information
One of the biggest mistakes that job seekers make when designing a resume is neglecting to include enough contact information where it can be found. Include your name, mailing address, email address, and at least two phone numbers at the very top center of your resume. Update this as your contact information changes.
Rule #3 – Create a Professional Summary
Resume objectives are a thing of the past. In job searches, it’s no longer about what you are seeking. Instead, a resume should include a professional summary of the value you can bring to an employer. Use powerful industry words found in the job descriptions you are applying for.
Rule #4 – Highlight Your Top 6 Skills
Use the space just below your professional summary for a bulleted list of at least 6-8 industry relevant skills or gifts you have. These should be limited to one or two words each. Why do this? The resume scanners will better pick up your resume and the recruiters’ eyes will notice your resume sooner than other candidates’.
Rule #5 – Share Achievements, not Job Duties
When writing your resume, stop adding basic descriptions and duties of each job. Recruiters want to see real achievements and awards that you earned at each job. Consider the projects you completed and the recognition you got from upper management, and then list these under each assignment. Remember, the idea is to sell yourself to a potential hiring company so this is your chance to shine.
Thankfully, there are a wide range of resume writing workshops, formats, and support to be found online and via staffing agencies like Venteon. This can help you to create a resume worth reading.