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Effective Resume Writing 101

A lot of places around the world call it a Curriculum Vitae, in North America, it’s a Resume. This is definitely one of the most important tools that any job seeker has at their disposal. You may be What's In Your ResumeTHE best candidate for a particular job by a long way, however, if you don’t make it to the interview stages the company or potential employer will never know.
Many companies, especially the larger corporations, will use computer software to filter all the resume‘s and reject any that don’t fit a particular template or predefined criteria. This may seem unfair, but it’s cost effective.

So, for some jobs your resume has to beat the computer and still read well enough for someone who may not have any knowledge of the position you are applying for. It is definitely worthwhile to adapt your resume for the position that is advertised. How can you do this? Check the job description for some of the “buzz words” the “filter” will be looking for, i.e., Marketing, Information Technology, Budgeting, Managing People, etc.

Be honest: It is very important that you can substantiate all the claims you make, preferably with physical examples or letters. This will be essential in any in interview situation. Professional Human Resource personnel are very good at spotting someone that isn’t all they seem to be.

Use The Internet: There is now a wealth of information available online, from books, local employment offices and with professional writing agencies. You can also access other people’s resumes that are posted online which will give some great ideas for style and content.

Write Your Own Resume: It is tempting to use professional resume writing services, but, the average resume writer doesn’t need to spend the money. I have never used one and feel that it will give a better impression if you have written the resume yourself (this will also display literacy and communication skills). Professionally written resumes are easy to spot; however, they may be worth the expense if you are an executive. You can always “customize” what has been written to make it look more like your own work. The key is; be very familiar with whatever is written on your resume and be ready to back it up with facts.

Keep It Updated: Once you have your resume finalized, do yourself a favor by keeping it updated on a regular basis. If you wait until you need it – it will be much harder to make it current. Update your achievements as you go along, so you can build your resume to suit the current job requirements.

Getting Around Writers Block: The keyword here is “brainstorm”. Write anything that you can think of and it will soon start to flow on the page. Use your word processor to copy and paste parts together until you are happy with the final product. Tip: Try to avoid using the “CUT” command, because you never know when something you wrote earlier will fit.