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Resume Tips

 

How to Write a Resume

Do you need help with how to write a resume? First of all, your resume needs to be consistent, concise, and clear and easy to read. If it's not, your resume and cover letter won't get a second glance from any hiring manager.

 

Here's how to write a resume that will get noticed and help you get invited for an interview.

 

There are several basic types of resumes used to apply for job openings. Depending on your personal circumstances, choose a chronological, a functional, combination, or a targeted resume. Taking the time to target your resume is well worth the effort.

 
What to Include in a Resume
 

Resume Contact Information

It's important to include all your contact information on your resume so employers can easily get in touch with you. Include your full name, street address, city, state, and zip, home phone number, cell phone number, and email address.

 

Resume Objective

If you include an objective on your resume, it's important to tailor your resume objective to match the job you are applying for. The more specific you are, the better chance you have of being considered for the job you are interested in.

 

Career Summary

The Career Summary section of a resume is an optional customized section of a resume that lists key achievements, skills, and experience relevant to the position for which you are applying.

 

Resume Experience Section

The experience section of your resume includes your employment history. List the companies you worked for, dates of employment, the positions you held and a bulleted list of responsibilities and achievements.

 

Resume Education Section

In the education section of your resume, list the schools you attended, the degrees you attained, and any special awards and honors you earned. Also include professional development coursework and certifications.

 

Resume Skills

The skills section of your resume includes your abilities that are related to the jobs you are applying for. Include skills that are relevant to the position / career field that you are interested in i.e. computer skills, software skills, and/or language skills.

 

Resume Keywords

Your resume should include the same keywords that appear in job descriptions. That way, you will increase your chances of your resume matching available positions - and of you being selected for an interview.

 

You Must Prioritize Your Resume Content

It's important to prioritize the content of your resume so that your most important and relevant experience is listed first, with key accomplishments listed at the top of each position.

 
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Types of Resumes

There are several basic types of resumes used to apply for job openings. Depending on your personal circumstances, choose a chronological, a functional, combination, or a targeted resume.
 
Chronological Resume
A chronological resume starts by listing your work history, with the most recent position listed first. Your jobs are listed in reverse chronological order with your current, or most recent job, first. Employers typically prefer this type of resume because it's easy to see what jobs you have held and when you have worked at them.

This type of resume works well for job seekers with a strong, solid work history.
 
Functional Resume
A functional resume focuses on your skills and experience, rather than on your chronological work history. It is used most often by people who are changing careers or who have gaps in their employment history.
 
Combination Resume
A combination resume lists your skills and experience first. Your employment history is listed next. With this type of resume you can highlight the skills you have that are relevant to the job you are applying for, and also provide the chronological work history that employers prefer.
 
Targeted Resume

A targeted resume is a resume that is customized so that it specifically highlights the experience and skills you have that are relevant to the job you are applying for. It definitely takes more work to write a targeted resume than to just click to apply with your existing resume.

 

However, it's well worth the effort, especially when applying for jobs that are a perfect match for your qualifications and experience.

 
Mini Resume
A mini resume contains a brief summary of your career highlights qualifications. It can be used for networking purposes or shared upon request from a prospective employer or reference writer who may want an overview of your accomplishments, rather than a full length resume.
 
Use the Best Resume for Your Situation
There are several basic types of resumes used to apply for job openings. Depending on your personal circumstances, choose a chronological, a functional, combination, or a targeted resume. Taking the time to target your resume is well worth the effort.
 
Use Resume Writing Resources
Look up resume writing advice, cover letters for resumes, how to write a resume, resume posting, resume services, and resume writing tips.
 
Review Your Resume Format
Before you start work on your resume, review free resume samples that fit a variety of employment situations. These sample resumes and templates provide job seekers with examples of resume formats that will work for almost every job seeker.
 
Don't just copy a resume example that you like. Instead, choose your resume very carefully. Review resume examples, choose a type of resume that highlights your strengths and achievements, review what information to include in your resume, and review a typical resume format. Remember, your resume needs to impress the hiring manager enough so you get the interview. That means it needs to be perfect.
 
Your resume needs to be professional and polished; because if you don't have a professional resume, your application materials probably won't get a second glance from any hiring manager.
 
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Resume Tips

Need help creating or updating your resume? It certainly can be complicated because your resume is going to be reviewed by software as well as by hiring managers. Review these top resume tips for choosing a resume format, selecting a resume font, customizing your resume, using resume keywords, explaining employment gaps, and more tips for writing interview winning resumes.
 
Start With a Resume Template
Use a resume template as a starting point for creating your own resume. Add your information to the resume template, then tweak and edit it to personalize your resume, so it highlights your skills and abilities.
 
Choose a Basic Font
When writing a resume it's important to use a basic font that is easy to read, both for hiring managers and for applicant management systems.
 
Include All Your Contact Information
It's important to include all your contact information on your resume so employers can easily get in touch with you. Include your full name, street address, city, state, and zip, home phone number, cell phone number, and email address.
 
Include Resume Keywords
Your resume should include the same keywords that appear in job descriptions. That way, you will increase your chances of your resume matching available positions - and of you being selected for an interview.
 
Choose the Right Resume Format
There are several basic types of resumes used to apply for job openings. Depending on your personal circumstances, choose a chronological, a functional, combination, or a targeted resume. Take the time to customize your resume - it's well worth the effort.
 
Prioritize Your Resume Content
It's important to prioritize the content of your resume so that your most important and relevant experience is listed first, with key accomplishments listed at the top of each position.
 

Write a Custom Resume

It definitely takes more time to write a custom resume, but, it's worth the effort, especially when applying for jobs that are a perfect match for your qualifications and experience.
 
Tailor Your Resume Objective
If you include an objective on your resume, it's important to tailor your resume objective to match the job you are applying for. The more specific you are, the better chance you have of being considered for the job you are interested in.
 
How to Email a Resume
When you're sending an email resume, it's important to follow the employer's instructions on how to submit your cover letter and resume. The employer may want your resume attached to the email message and sent in specific format, typically as a Microsoft Word document or a PDF.

When applying for employment via email, copy and paste your cover letter into the email message or write your cover letter in the body of an email message.
 
Sending Your Email Resume
If the job posting asks you to send an attachment, send your resume as a PDF or a Word document. If you have word processing software other than Microsoft Word save your resume as a Word (.doc) document. File, Save As, should be an option in your program.
 
To save your document as a PDF, depending on your word processing software you may be able to File, Print to Adobe PDF. If not, there are programs you can use to convert a file to a PDF.
 
Some employers do not accept attachments. In these cases, paste your resume into your email message as plain text. Use a simple font and remove the fancy formatting. Don't use HTML. You don't know what email client the employer is using, so, simple is best because the employer may not see a formatted message the same way you do.
 
The Subject Line of Your Email Message
Make sure you list the position you are applying for in the Subject Line of your email address, so the employer is clear as to what job you are applying for.
 
Include Your Signature
Include a signature with your contact information, so it's easy for the hiring manager to get in touch with you.
 
Send a Test Email Message
Attach your resume, then send the message to yourself first to test that the formatting works. Open the attachment so you are sure you attached the right file in the right format and it opens correctly. If everything looks good, resend to the employer.
 
Double Check Your Email Message
Make sure you spell check and check your grammar and capitalization. They are just as important in email messages as in paper correspondence.
 
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How to Format Your Resume

Use the following information to format your resume. Generate a list of information to include on your resume, then compile the details to format your resume into a customized resume to send to employers.
 
Resume Format
Your Contact Information

First Last Name
Street Address
City, State, Zip
Phone (Cell/Home)
Email Address

 

Objective (optional)

What do you want to do? If you include this section it should be a sentence or two about your employment goals. A customized objective that describes why you are the perfect candidate for the job can help your resume stand out from the competition.
 
Career Highlights / Qualifications (optional)
A customized section of your resume that lists key achievements, skills, traits, and experience relevant to the position for which you are applying can serve dual purposes. It highlights your relevant experience and lets the prospective employer know that you have taken the time to create a resume that shows how you are qualified for the job.
 
Experience
This section of your resume includes your work history. List the companies you worked for, dates of employment, the positions you held and a bulleted list of responsibilities and achievements.
Company #1
City, State
Dates Worked
Job Title
Responsibilities / Achievements
Responsibilities / Achievements
 
Company #2
City, State
Dates Worked
Job Title
Responsibilities / Achievements
Responsibilities / Achievements
 
Education
In the education section of your resume, list the schools you attended, the degrees you attained, and any special awards and honors you earned.
College, Degree
Awards, Honors
 
Skills
Include skills related to the position / career field that you are applying for i.e. computer skills, language skills.
 
References available upon request
There is no need to include references on your resume. Rather, have a separate list of references to give to employers upon request.
 
Customize Your Resume
In all cases, be sure to personalize and customize your resume, so, it reflects your skills and abilities and connects them with the jobs you are applying for.
 
Resume Keywords

Most companies use recruiting management software to screen candidates for job openings. Resume keywords are the words that those hiring managers search for when going through their database of resumes. In order to get found, your resume needs to contain keywords that directly target the jobs you are interested in.

 

The keywords in your resume should reference specific job requirements, including your skills, software and technology competencies, relevant credentials, and previous employers.

 

Using resume keywords increases the chances of your resume being compatible with a job that's open and your resume showing up in the hiring manager's search results.
 
How to Find Resume Keywords

To find keywords to use, take a look at some actual job postings. Search for job listings that match your background and experience. Then look at the keywords including in the job postings and incorporate them into your resume.

 

Use a job search engine so you can find jobs from a variety of job sites. Then compare and contrast and pick the keywords from the job postings that are the best fit for your skills and qualifications.

 

Be specific. The more focused and specific you are, the better chance you'll have at being a good match.
 
How can keywords help with a job search?
Using keywords to job search helps job seekers narrow search results to get targeted job listings that match their criteria. There are several ways you can use keywords to help job search efficiently. Keywords help you refine your searches so the job listings in the results closely match the type of position you are seeking.
 
Job Keywords

Use job keywords to find jobs in the career fields and industries you are interested in. Keywords can be more effective than using the predefined search options in the job banks, because they search the entire listing (job description, job title, contact information, etc.) for the keyword(s) that you use.

 

When you use the job search engine sites you will need to enter a keyword to search. Use terms (like graphic designer or marketing assistant, for example) that closely match the type of job you are seeking to generate a list of relevant jobs.

 
Location Keywords
Keywords are also useful for finding jobs in a certain geographic location. Enter the specific location (city, state and/or country) where you want to work to get a list of jobs in that city.
 
Company Keywords
Keywords are helpful for finding jobs at specific companies. Use the company name as keyword when searching job sites. Also, search Google using the company name as a keyword to find the company web site. Most companies list open positions in the careers section of their web site.
 
Type of Job Keywords
If you're looking for a certain type of position, like a summer, temporary, or part-time job, you can use related keywords to help narrow your search and generate job listings that meet that criteria.
 
Resume Objectives

When writing a resume, some job seekers choose to state an objective on their resume, rather than including it in the body of their cover letter.

 

Stating an objective can convince employers that you know what you want to do and are familiar with the field. Stating your objective on your resume is optional, having an objective for your resume is not - you need to be clear about your employment goals.

 
Customize Your Resume Objective
If you include an objective on your resume, it's important to customize the resume objective to match the position you are applying for. The more specific your resume objective is the better chance you have of being considered for the job.
 
Sample Resume Objective Statements
  • Obtain a position at XYZ Company where I can maximize my management skills, quality assurance, program development, and training experience.
  • Account executive trainee at ABCD advertising agency.
  • Position as clinical practice assistant for health maintenance organization, utilizing writing, research, and leadership skills.
  • Elementary education teacher at small independent school.
  • Customer service management where my experience can be utilized to improve customer satisfaction.
  • Create integrated strategies to develop and expand existing customer sales, brand/product evolution, and media endorsement.
  • Management position where I can effectively utilize my expertise in human relations, project management, and staff recruitment and retention.
  • Marketing position that utilizes my writing skills and enables me to make a positive contribution to the organization.
  • Search engine optimization position where I can use my SEO skills and experience to increase site traffic and search engine placement.
  • To secure a position with a well established organization with a stable environment that will lead to a lasting relationship in the field of finance.
  • To obtain a position that will enable me to use my strong organizational skills, educational background, and ability to work well with people.
  • Experienced HR Coordinator who enjoys challenge seeking opportunity to learn and improve skills.
 
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How to Write a Cover Letter

 
First: Parts of a Cover Letter

Contact Information

The first section of a written or uploaded cover letter should include your contact information. If you have contact information for the employer, list it below your contact information. If not, leave this section off your cover letter. When you send an email cover letter, instead of listing your contact information at the top of the message include your contact information in your signature.
 
Cover Letter Salutation
It's important to include an appropriate salutation at the beginning of the cover letter or message. If you have a contact person for your letter, be sure to include their name in your letter. Review examples of cover letter salutations.
 
Body of the Cover Letter

The body of your cover letter lets the employer know what position you are applying for, why the employer should select you for an interview, and how you will follow-up.

This section of your cover letter should include:
First Paragraph - Why you are writing
Middle Paragraphs - What you have to offer the employer (be specific)
Final Paragraph - How you will follow-up

 
Cover Letter Closure
When you're writing a cover letter or sending an email message to apply for a job it's important to close your letter in a professional manner.
 
Cover Letter Signature
What is included in a cover letter signature and the format of your signature depends on whether you are sending or uploading a cover letter document or using an email message as your cover letter.
 
1. Contact Information

When you're writing a cover letter or sending an email message how you include your contact information will vary based on how you are sending your cover letter.

 

When you are writing a cover letter to mail or to upload to a job board or company website, the first section of your cover letter should include information on how the employer can contact you. If you have contact information for the employer, include that. Otherwise, just list your information.

 
Your Contact Information
Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address
Date
 
Employer Contact Information

Name
Title
Company
Address
City, State, Zip Code

 
Email Cover Letter Contact Information
When you send an email cover letter, instead of listing your contact information at the top of the message include your contact information in your signature.
 
Sample Email Signature

FirstName LastName
Email Address
Phone
Cell Phone

 
Sample Email Signature With Full Address
FirstName LastName
Street
City, State, Zip
Email Address
Phone
Cell Phone
 
Sample Email Signature With LinkedIn

FirstName LastName
Email Address
Phone
Cell Phone
LinkedIn Profile

 
2. Cover Letter Salutations

When you're writing a cover letter or sending an email message to apply for a job, it's important to include an appropriate salutation at the beginning of the cover letter or message. If you have a contact person for your letter, be sure to include their name in your letter.

 

The following is a list of letter salutation examples that are appropriate for cover letters and other employment-related correspondence.

 
Cover Letter Salutation Examples
Dear Mr. Jones
Dear Ms. Jones
Dear Jane Doe
Dear Dr. Haven
Follow the salutation with a colon or comma, a space, and then start the first paragraph of your letter. For example:

Dear Mr. Smith:

First paragraph of letter.

 
When You Don't Have a Contact Person
Many companies don't list a contact person when they post jobs, because they don't want to be contacted by candidates. If you don't have a contact person at the company either leave off the salutation from your cover letter and start with the first paragraph of your letter or use a general salutation.
 
General Salutations for Cover Letters
Dear Hiring Manager
To whom it may concern
Dear Human Resources Manager
Dear Sir or Madam
 
3. Body of the Cover Letter

The most important part of a cover letter or an email message applying for employment, is the body of your cover letter. The body of a cover letter includes the paragraphs where you explain why you are interested in and qualified for the job for which you are applying.

 

The body of your cover letter is the section of the letter that tells the hiring manager what position you are applying for and why the employer should select you for an interview. You're selling your candidacy to the reader, so it's important to be specific about your qualifications as they relate to the position.

 

First Paragraph

The first paragraph of your letter should include information on why you are writing. Mention the position you are applying for and where you saw the listing. Include the name of a contact, if you have one.
 
Middle Paragraphs
The next section of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the employer. Make strong connections between your qualifications and the position requirements. Mention specifically how your skills and experience match the job you are applying for. Use several shorter paragraphs or a bulleted list of your qualifications rather than one large block of text.
 
Final Paragraph
Conclude your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the position. Include information on how you will follow-up, if you have enouch contact information to do so.
 
4. Cover Letter Closure

When you're writing a cover letter or sending an email message to apply for a job it's important to close your letter in a professional manner.

 

The following is a list of letter closing examples that are appropriate for cover letters and employment related correspondence.

 
Cover Letter Closing Examples
    • Sincerely
    • Sincerely yours
    • Regards
    • Best regards
    • Kind regards
    • Yours truly
    • Most sincerely
    • Respectfully
    • Respectfully yours
    • Thank you
    • Thank you for your consideration
 
Follow the closing with a comma, a space, and then your name and your contact information, if you're sending an email message. For example:
Best regards,
Your Name
Your LinkedIn Profile URL
Your Email Address
Your Phone Number
 
5. Cover Letter Signature
What is included in a cover letter signature depends on whether you are sending or uploading a cover letter document or using an email message as your cover letter.
 
Cover Letter Document Signatures

When you send a paper cover letter or upload a document to a job site to apply for a job you need less information in your signature than in an email message, because the heading of your cover letter includes your contact information.


In this case, you can simply include an appropriate closing and your name:

  • Sincerely
  • Sincerely yours
  • Regards
  • Best regards
  • Kind regards
  • Yours truly
  • Most sincerely
  • Respectfully
  • Respectfully yours
  • Thank you
  • Thank you for your consideration
FirstName LastName
 
Email Cover Letter Signatures

When you are sending email cover letters, it's important to include contact information so the hiring manager can easily see how to reach you.

 
Sample Email Signature
FirstName LastName
Email Address
Phone
Cell Phone
 
Sample Email Signature With Full Address
FirstName LastName
Street
City, State, Zip
Email Address
Phone
Cell Phone
 
Sample Email Signature With LinkedIn
FirstName LastName
Email Address
Phone
Cell Phone
LinkedIn Profile (Optional)
 
Sample Email Signature With Twitter
FirstName LastName
Email Address
Phone
Cell Phone
LinkedIn Profile (Optional)
Twitter Account (Optional)
 
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Be Smart
"Thank you very much Derek, the resume really looks good. Looks absolutely perfect.. Thank you very much again.”
Jamil Y, Duluth, GA
"Yes, that is more than I thought it would be! Just send in Word (.doc) format as that is all I use right now.”
Keith R, Ventura, CA
"Everything looks good, Please finalize resume, Cover letter, Thank you Letter, Etc.”
Nayanesh G, Bloomfield, NJ
"Great job you have done with my resume, even my co-worker prefers your edition then mine.”
Kenny C, Lynn, MA
"I want to thank you because the resume you created for me helped me obtain a good job with a great company. You offer great prices, excellent turn around time, and are easy to communicate with.”
L Quiles, Simi Valley, CA
"Thank you for preparing my resume. It is outstanding!”
Amanda H, Las Vegas, NV
"I looked over the resume and I love the summary statement! Thank you!”
Stephen H, Seattle, WA
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