Before You Write Your Resume
1. Before you begin constructing a resume, take the time to think about your experience and what type of job you’re looking for.
If you’re re-entering the workforce, you may pick a different format than someone who’s been working continuously. A recent college graduate will focus more on educational background than an experienced worker. If you’re changing careers, you may opt for a different format than someone who is remaining in his current field.
2. Take a look at some sample resumes online. Boston College, the Wall Street Journal, Vault.com and the University of Florida have some good examples.
8 Technical Skills Resume Writing Tips
If you’re writing a resume for a technical position here are a few resume tips.
1) Technical Skills Come First
The first resume tip is to put your technical skills, training and knowledge at the top of your resume. Make sure it is detailed and organized and that your technical expertise is clear. Keep in mind that prior to finding its way to the prospective employer the resume is going to be read by a gatekeeper, and will likely be electronically perused for the important keywords. The best resume tip to get your resume in front of the employer is to make sure you include relevant keywords, such as industry or job jargon, an all operating systems and programs with which you are proficient.
2) Customize Your Qualifications
The second resume tip is to document your qualifications according to their relevance to the position for which you are applying, with the most relevant listed first. Your degree or certification is only listed if relevant to the available position. Don’t worry about reverse chronology. If, for example, you are applying for a system administration position and one of the prior positions you’ve held is as a system administrator that job should be listed first – no matter where it appeared in your work experience chronologically.
3) Quantify Your Past Results
The third resume tip is to be factual with your experience, quantifying it where you can. You could, for instance, enumerate the code lines you debugged, the amount of money your budget costs saved, or note the number of computers and servers whose maintenance you were responsible for.
4) Use Action Words
The fourth resume tip is to be active rather than passive in your resume. Begin each sentence with an action, keeping it in the past tense. For example, which description do you think is better?: It is important to clearly describe the value you provided to the employer in the past tense and starting with an action word.
5) Give Yourself Credit
The fifth resume tip is to blow your own horn. This is not the time to be shy. Treat your resume as a marketing and sales tool for yourself. Write it as if you are the product and the employer the consumer. Sell yourself. If you have a significant accomplishment that doesn’t seem relevant to the job list it separately, but do list it.
6) Be As Short As Possible While Still Being Totally Clear
The sixth resume tip is to keep your resume as concise as practical, without minimize the point size to make it hard to read, or eliminating needed white space. If your resume includes fewer than six years of experience you should be able to keep it to one page. Unless you are applying for a senior executive position, however, you shouldn’t exceed three pages. Some of the ways to be concise is to leave out the details of projects of which you were not the key part. Articles and pronouns can be eliminated – you don’t need a, an or the – and you definitely don’t need I.
7) Don’t Give Any More Information Than The Reader Needs
The seventh resume tip is to eliminate all unimportant, or non-pertinent information, as well as those things that will give away your right to be considered without bias. You should never include on your resume: your marital status, any indication of your health or age, or any associations that would make clear your religious, sexual preference or political affiliation. You don’t need to tell a prospective employer, for example, that references are available, nor do you need to name supervisors at this point.
8) No Silly Mistakes
The final resume tip is to check for errors. Check yourself for grammatical and punctuation errors as well as typographical mistakes.
Seniors Becoming More In Demand In The Workplace
The AARP has announced that there has been quite an increase in the amount of employers seeking workers over the age of 50. According to the agency, they have added three federal agencies and six private companies, all seeking senior employees. This is part of an effort of AARP’s new National Employer Team. So far, the IRS, the Peace Corps and the Small Business Association have joined to provide jobs for older employees.
AARP has set up a spot on their website where applicants can seek jobs from these and 35 other agencies and companies. The service is free, even to those who do not belong to AARP. According to Deborah Russell, who is in charge of the agency’s work force related issues, more companies are recognizing the value of hiring seniors. She stated, “They recognize the fact that mature workers bring good experience and skills to the workplace. Many see lower turnover rates (among) mature workers. More importantly, some recognize this is a labor pool they will have to pull from because they don’t have the ability to attract younger workers to these kinds of jobs.”
This new service from AARP will come in handy as more baby boomers plan to work past the regular retirement age. According to recent surveys, as many as 69% of people in this age group plan to work past the usual retirement age of 65. This is due to high health care costs and insufficient retirement income. Thousands of jobs are currently being offered through this new program.