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How to Write a Better Resume or Curriculum Vitae for a New Job
by Brian Scott

How to Write a Better ResumeTo many individuals, hearing the word "resume" incites panic attacks and spasms of stress. Indeed, writing a resume is stressful work. You need to write your "Curriculum Vitae" (a fancier word for resume) accurately; and you need to present it impeccably—a reflection of your skills! Any goofs in your resume might forfeit you for the job. Developing a resume can be perplexing. We've all quizzed ourselves with these concerns: "Which information do I put in?" "What do I leave out?" "How do I format my resume?"

If you leapt into a stack of handbooks and instruction manuals on how to create the ideal resume, you'd suffocate in words and illustrations that all appear identical and give you the same advice. Every job-seeker and career-chaser desires to know how to make a resume spring out of the stockpile and shout out to the employer, "Pick me! I am the person you want to hire!"

Composing a resume is both an art and a science. We have to learn the right ingredients of words, terms, and expressions—and then we must arrange these ingredients into a correct structure and eye-catching style to communicate successfully our selling points. The following advice are timesaving methods to craft an outstanding curriculum vitae for any new job or career that you hunger for.

FORMAT WITH DISCRETION

Your professional background will firmly direct your resume's structure. We need to pick one of three standard resume styles: 1) Chronological Resume; 2) Functional Resume; or 3) Combination Resume. Let's look at all three of them.

The Chronological Resume
This is the most popular kind of resume, the one that we see most often when we refer to "writing a resume." A chronological resume is well-suited if: 1) you've maintained stable job experience with very little time off; 2) you've stayed with your job(s) for prolonged spans of time; and/or 3) you have specific career-goals and experience that clearly reveal that you are aiming for a bigger goal.

The Chronological Resume consists of:
  • Objective (which we'll talk about soon).
  • Employment (work, job, career) history. Begin with your latest job.
  • Education and learning.
  • Extra section (for items such as military or academic experience or any unique passions that are relevant to the impending job).
  • References/Recommendations.

The Functional Resume
As an alternative of the chronological resume, a functional resume aims to spotlight skills that you possess and regularly use beyond your normal work experience. Choose this type of resume if: 1) you're in the process of shifting careers; 2) you possess limited to no job experience; or 3) you've kept multiple, unrelated jobs (i.e. you've worked as a vet tech assistant, and also worked as a computer programmer).

The style of the Functional Resume includes:
  • Qualifications summary (a bulleted checklist of accomplishments or pursuits that sanction you for the job).
  • Employment record
  • Education and learning
  • Extra section
  • References

The Combination Resume
This type of curriculum vitae is precisely what it sounds like: a combo of the chronological and functional layouts. It is marginally better than the functional resume, because the latter format can make an employer skeptical that you're suppressing something (such as the absence of work-related experience).

The Combination Resume is includes:
  • Qualifications summary
  • Education (particularly if it's a strong area for you)
  • Employment history (in reverse order as the chronological resume)
  • Optional section
  • Recommendations/References

RECONSIDER YOUR JOB INTENTIONS

Many handbooks and websites magnify the advantages of an objective; it is, nevertheless, a fantastic approach to rank yourself high for a job and reveal to an employer about what you desire from the job as well as how eager you are to obtain it. Many job-seekers ditch the objective for a qualifications summary, and employers and recruiters appear to prefer this approach. The rationale to explain this is straightforward: objectives are, by character, centered closely on you and not the employer. Your future employer, while surely engaged in what you want from the job on a personal and professional level, is much more interested with your qualifications and what you can achieve for the company.

The concept isn't all troubling, though. It merely requires a bit of adjustments. Rather than an objective, try putting together a positioning statement; it operates the same way as an objective but fixes the focal point on you. Scrutinize these examples:

Objective: To become a managing editor of Christian bible books at a leading publishing company.

Positioning Statement: Former editorial director of Christian Weekly magazine with 12 years of experience in magazine and book publishing.

These are random examples, of course, but you understand; fix the focus on you and the employer will notice.

SPECIFY YOUR STRONG POINTS

Be explicit about what precisely you've accomplished. Your previous job duties and successes are superb selling points in your resume. Refrain from being superficial, unless you prefer your resume to sound like everybody else's. Consider your past jobs: what specifically did you undertake and how does that equip you for a new job? For example, don't say that you "aided the chief editor with a variety of editorial tasks." In its place, write, "I researched and wrote front-page feature stories, copy edited staff and freelance content, assisted with layout and cover design ... etc." Describing your specific job functions and achievements will prove to the employer: 1) what you are capable of accomplishing; 2) your level of competency; and 3) what the employer can anticipate from you.

SHOW THEM WHAT YOU CAN DO

It's alluring to summarize your duties to economize space and not seem too prideful, but don't forget— you need to sell yourself. You have one chance to impress the employer. More than likely the employer will know something about the responsibilities of your previous job (especially if it's similar to this job). In this case you need to expound on what you've achieved instead of what you carried out. Any person can endure the job tasks of a regular 9 -5 day, but what did you literally achieve during those hours? What were the positive outcomes of your work? Don't be discreet with this; if a novel you had edited reached Amazon.com's best-seller list, then of course, inform the employer. Never hold back valuable facts about your successes.

PHRASE IT WELL

The words that you use in your curriculum vitae are as equally important as the results you've attained at your last job. Ensure that you use vibrant, appealing words. Always minimize the use of passive voice; it reads in a dull, tiresome manner. Regularly write in active voice so you sound more precise, direct and forthright. Write concisely. Are you lazily padding sentences with useless words? Can you substitute a whole sentence with an effective action verb? Are you using too many common clichés, like "I have great customer service skills"? Try to state overused phrases in a more original, intelligent manner. And make sure you spell all words correctly. A typo on a resume looks like a black eye—it impresses upon the employer that "if this person doesn't care enough to spell-check his resume," the employer thinks, "then why would he care to do his job right the first time for me?"

REFINE THE PRESENTATION

The "face value" of your resume is another essential part to the overall resume writing process. How your resume presents itself will form the employer's initial opinion of you; if your resume looks substandard, sloppy, or incompetent, the employer might not glance at it a second time. Verify that the aesthetic layout and format is perfect (check with a resume handbook for samples). Always allow plenty of white space because this helps the employer browse through your resume and locate specific information. Use a plain readable font, such as Arial or Times New Roman; print out your resume on thick white stock paper (no photocopies!). Always include your current contact information, including an email address; it'll be tricky to snag that new job if the employer is unable to reach you.

© Brian Scott, LousyWriter.com






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