Writing a resume can feel intimidating, and sometimes we put too much importance in our resume. Yes, you want to have a good resume that is creative and will help you stand out in the crowd of papers, but the purpose of the resume is to get an interview. A bad resume can be a hindrance to getting interviews and ultimately the job you want. Take the time to write a solid resume. Make it personal and find ways to make it stand out.
If you have never written a resume before I would recommend browsing at different examples. Keep yours one to two pages maximum. I feel you would use two pages only if you have had many jobs that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Be creative with your resume. Learn about the company you are applying with and its culture. Make sure your spelling and grammar are correct and have someone (or several people) proofread it. Do not lie on your resume. Even an exaggeration can come back and haunt you. Remember to have fun writing your resume.
The opening lines below your contact information are critical to making you stand out among all the other resumes. You want this to be forward-looking about why you want the position and what you can do for the company. Talk about why you want to work for the company. Use a unique past experience that gave you skills that would help. Showcase your knowledge about the industry. This is the key component of a resume and most of the time the only part that gets read by a person before moving on to the next resume.
In the next section you want to state your education history. The education part shows what you learned and how it can help you in the position. If your education is older and not relevant, list it but focus on the other parts of your resume.
Your work history can be very helpful if the employer chooses your resume or reads beyond the opening. Start with your most recent job and list what you did to help that company, providing examples. Use hard figures to show how you helped the company. An example: “Worked to increase Region B sales from four to six million in two years.”. If you have had a lot of jobs, focus on those in which you have developed skills that would be relevant and helpful to what you want to do. Use key words and show specifics; don’t be a generalist. Work helps us develop skills. Think of how you can re-purpose developed skills for the career you want.
The skills section is a great place to list and show what you have learned and developed. List skills you have learned and your level of understanding. Explain how they could be used in the position you are applying for. Think creatively and find ways to show the skills you have learned as a way to show that you can learn new skills as needed.
The resume is part of the first step in finding the work you love and using what is your unique gift. Think outside the box about how you could present yourself to a company. I love this post about 25 creative resumes. Depending on the company you want to work for, you could present yourself differently than using the typical resume. Research the companies you want to work for and find a fun way to present to the hiring personnel.
The resume along with the cover letter are the first step in the job hunting process. Always submit a cover letter even if it’s not requested. You want the letters to be unique and creative, but they will not get you the job. You need to be a good interviewer, and be sure you know your resume when you interview.