Resume Writing Tips
Help you Focus on Success

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Resume Writing Tips will help you build an effective resume or CV and focus on success! Writing a good resume will be something you can be proud of.

Now that you have a good idea of what should be included in your resume or CV, here are some resume writing tips to help you prepare this most important document in your business writing portfolio!

The essence of who you are

Your job, when preparing your resume (CV), is to create succinctly and clearly the essence of who you are. You must also indicate clearly and succinctly to the reader (the prospective employer) how you can fill his/her needs.

How do you do that? Consider the reader.

What does the reader look for in a prospective employee?

  • Learn about the company.
  • Learn about the employer.
  • Learn about the job.
  • Draft the resume so that the reader can scan the document quickly and see the most relevant and important points about you.

Personal characteristics

When it comes to your personal characteristics, you should indicate responsibility,reliability, honesty, and other traits that indicate integrity.

Another of the important resume writing tips you can follow is to indicate initiative. Surely initiative is also included in your personal characteristics! Again, this is part of writing a good resume.

Professional appearance

In all your business writing, remember to keep the document professional and easy to read and understand.



10-second test

Your document must pass the 10-second test.

You can work very hard on this document, but all the time and effort you put into it won't mean a thing unless the document can pass that 10-second test!

What is the 10-second test

The prospective employer will look at your resume quickly because, no doubt, there will be more than one to review. It is in the first 10 seconds that the impression is made - So here are some important resume writing tips to consider:

(a) Is the document easy to read? (b) Is it framed attractively and professionally on the page? (c) Can the reader understand the contents at a glance? or Does the reader have to "work" to understand what you have written?

If the reader has to "work" to read your document, chances are, he/she will not read it, or will read it reluctantly. You're off to a negative start, and that negative start is difficult to overcome.

So, get it right the first time!

A few Important Resume Writing Tips

Use a standard and professional font. When preparing your document, something like Times New Roman 12-point font is a good standard. You do not have to use Times New Roman 12-point font, but that particular font and font size make the document very easy to read.

If you deviate much from that size and style, the resume could end up looking less than professional. Another good font to consider might be something like Cambria - about 11- or 12-point font.

Both of those fonts are serif fonts. Serifs are the small finishing strokes on the end of a character. Sans serif fonts do not have these small finishing strokes.

Use standard good-quality bond paper. Shocking pink is likely to be tossed before it's read.

Be professional. Be professional in all that you do. Use a professional, but personal tone. Don't be too familiar.

Another of the best resume writing tips includes the length of your document:

Try to keep your resume to one page or about one page and a half. More than that may be far too long to be effective.

I've always thought that the more you have achieved, the shorter can be your resume. For example, if you're the CEO of a company, or you are the Chairman of a Board, you don't have to add the duties you perform with that resume entry. It is quite self-explanatory.

When you worked for a company in a particular department, you may want to list the duties you had, or the skills you learned. When you must present a list like that, you require more room in your resume - and keeping the resume short becomes a challenge.

However, it is a worthwhile challenge to try to keep your resume to one page. A maximum of two pages should be your goal.



More Resume Writing Tips

Be truthful. Not only is it ethical to tell the truth, but if you are discovered to be providing false information, regardless of how well you might perform at your job, you could face termination even years into the future. Base your employment, and your life, upon integrity.

Be succinct. Provide only what is necessary. Save details for your interview.

Match your strengths to the job for which you apply. For example, if you're applying for a job that requires muscle, then say that you are strong or that one of your hobbies is weight-lifting.

Consider the opposite. If you're applying to be a bouncer at a bar, you would not say that you're a ballet dancer - only because that may not give the best impression.

Customize the resume for each job. If you're applying for an office job, you should not highlight that you have been a lifeguard or a professional wrestler. Instead, highlight skills and experience that would relate to that office job.

Always consider the reader. What would the reader want to read in an ideal candidate? Write with the focus on contributing to the reader's needs. Highlight the information that will be most important to your reader.

Other good resume writing tips include:

Highlight the positives. If you were fired from a previous job, you don't need to highlight the negative. Include the job in your listing - unless it's a functional resume you're writing where you focus on your specific skills that relate to the specific application. However, omit the negatives entirely.

Be realistic. Avoid being too aggressive with bragadoccio. If you use overkill to tell your reader how good you are - that you are unparalleled in your expertise and skills - then the reader is not likely to believe you.

If you have strengths to relate, provide evidence to support - rather than presenting opinions about your worth. The evidence is crucial. Anyone can say "I'm a good communicator." That is a matter of opinion. Instead, you might write Communications. 12 years as lead writer for ABC Company. That is evidence - not opinion - and is far more valuable.

Overqualified? Highlight what the reader wants to read. Highlight the skills for your application. For example, if you have a Ph.D. in something, and you're unemployed at the moment, you may find yourself looking for a job as a manual labourer (just as an example). If that's the case, then avoid highlighting your education. Focus instead on the skills that the reader wants to read.

Volunteer experience. Volunteer somewhere - like a food bank - so that you can include that Volunteer Activity in your resume. That ALWAYS looks good. It benefits you in two ways: It is excellent experience, and it can be an excellent character reference for you.

Avoid controversy. Leave out religious affiliation and political views unless, of course, you are applying to a religious or political organization.

Do your homework! Research the company you wish to join, and research the potential employer so that you know what will be of interest to your reader. Always write for your reader!

Understand what your employer needs in an employee, and indicate clearly on your resume that you can fit the bill. Your resume writing objective is to demonstrate that you are the right fit for the job.

These are just a few examples of what you might include - or omit - from your resume. Very soon, you'll be writing the perfect resume!

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