Creating an effective resume

A resume is a short account of one’s career and qualifications. Every person who composes a resume should, by definition, be explaining his or her experience.

IF EVERYONE’S DOING THE SAME THING, HOW DO YOU SET YOURSELF APART?

To increase your chances of being noticed for a position, keep in mind the following tips when you are preparing your resume. Remember to check your resume over when it is complete to make sure each area is adequately addressed.

IMAGE

The first impression created by a letter and resume is lasting, so make sure it’s crisp, positive, and professional in appearance and content. Be wary of using graphics, or other gimmicks to attempt to make your resume stand out.

ACCURACY

Ensure the grammar, spelling, dates, job titles, addresses, and phone numbers are accurate. Errors raise questions about other work habits.

LENGTH

Even the most senior, seasoned executives can present their backgrounds in two to three pages. Make sure priority messages are communicated concisely using a targeted information style.

EDUCATION OR PROFESSIONAL STATUS

It is critical to accurately represent information on education credentials, achievements, and professional status. Unclear or overstated representations can raise red flags about an applicant’s honesty and integrity.

CHRONOLOGY

A reverse chronology style is most beneficial because it presents the most recent and usually the most significant position and achievements first. Formative positions should be highlighted to signal career building blocks and to help establish promotional sequence.

COMPANY OR ORGANIZATION

Do not assume that the reader will know the organization name, size and scope, or the industry products and services. Outline this information in one or two brief sentences or bullets.

POSITION INFORMATION

Briefly describe the scope and responsibilities of each position held. Provide just enough strategic information for general understanding.

ACHIEVEMENTS

Under each position, outline significant achievements that illustrate skills and abilities. The challenge is simply to demonstrate that your contribution was value added during your employment.

OUTSIDE INTERESTS

Briefly outline outside interests that demonstrate leadership experience beyond your career. It can be beneficial to outline major awards or community achievements.

COVERING LETTERS

A well-crafted covering letter that bridges the applicant’s background and strengths with the job responsibilities and challenges is critical. Carefully demonstrate insight into the position, company, and industry.

REFERENCES

Supply business references only when requested. References are your allies in executive searches and should be informed of your interest at the appropriate time. Notify all referees of your motivation and plans so they are not blind-sided during reference checking.

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