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Important Tips for Writing a Resume

At one time you didn't need a resume or CV to apply for certain jobs. These days you need a resume or CV to apply for just about any job.

And having a good resume or CV is crucial if you want to stand out among your many, equally eager, competitors!

Think about your resume as a marketing tool - it tells potential employers about your suitability for the job and helps them decide if you're what they're looking for. And if you follow a few basic tips for writing a resume, you'll end up with a good marketing brochere and a much better chance of landing the job. Here's how:

Tips for Writing a Resume ~ General Guidelines

  • Keep your resume to one or two pages
  • Write your resume on a PC or laptop, using 10- or 12- point font size
  • Use white, cream, or ivory bonded paper with matching envelopes
  • Make sure your resume is free of typos and grammatical errors. It's hard to spot errors in your own writing, so ask someone else to proofread it for you

Tips for Writing a Resume ~ Content

  • Begin with your Objective. It's up to you how much information you put in this section. Some recruiters prefer a single line, stating the job you want. Others prefer a more detailed Objective or Personal Summary, as in these resume objective examples.
  • Describe your skills accurately
  • Include relevant work experience, commendations, volunteer jobs, awards, education, training, internships and certifications to document your experience and skills
  • For each job, include the job title, dates of employment, and name of the employer
  • Use action words to describe your skills. Specific action words - such as plan, write, supervise, teach, build, install, repair - describe what you can do
  • One of our top tips for writing a resume is not to forget to 'prove' your skills by referring to specific achievements you'd had, such as saving money, increasing productivity or improving customer service. Employers are often more interested in what you did do than what you say you can do so including achievements in your CV or resume can really score you extra points.
  • Create a separate sheet for references, which you can give to employers if they ask for it

Tips for Writing a Resume ~ Organization

You can choose from a number of different ways to organize the content of your resume.

Functional resumes focus on your skills. They work best for people who want to change careers, have training but little work experience, are returning to the workforce after an absence, or have held many different jobs.

A chronological resume highlights continued growth in a particular field by listing your work history starting with the most current. A chronological resume is good for people who are looking for work in their current fields and people who are looking for promotions or advancement in their fields.

Help with Writing a Resume

Each U.S. state has job placement offices or career centers that can help you write a good resume. Many developed countries have similar centers. Staff can help you create an interesting and professional resume that will get the attention of employers. They can even give you more tips for writing a resume. Most centers also have computers, paper, envelopes, stamps, and fax machines you can use at no cost for writing and sending out resumes.

And if you want more than just tips for writing a resume here are 10 resume templates you may find useful.

Or simply download our Resumes Guide. You'll get 29 pages of tips for writing a resume, free CV examples and a great free bonus.

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