Career advice:

Writing an Effective Resume

A resume is a one or two page assessment of your skills, experiences, accomplishments and education designed to capture the attention of potential employers. A resume is your personal marketing tool that should be designed to secure an interview. The majority of employers make the decision about who to interview based on the resumes they receive. Therefore, yours must be designed to portray your capabilities and potential. In order to help you create an effective resume, we have put together a step-by-step list of what you need to do to ensure you have the best marketing tool possible.

Step 1 – You should sit down and list your skills and abilities. Also include all of your experiences, your strengths and assets. Write down all that you can remember. After, you can go back and cross off anything that you think your prospective boss may deem unimportant or unimpressive. Remember to reflect on your self-assessment. If you do not tell your interviewer all of your endearing characteristics, he may not be aware that they exist. It is sometimes hard to talk oneself up, but it is a necessity as it is hard for a person to develop their own opinions on all facets of your personality through one or two meetings only.

Step 2 – Keep your resume simple to read. Use standard fonts and bulleting where applicable. Use indentations effectively. Use reverse chronological order when it comes to listing educational and professional experiences. This is the most used and widely accepted format, as most employers prefer to see your most recent accomplishments first.

Step 3 - Be sure to use action verbs to describe your skills and past roles. Articulate marketable skills acquired through your positions using active language. Some examples of action verbs commonly found on resumes are acted, presented, distributed, organized, created, developed, evaluated, identified, classified, constructed, delivered, accomplished and achieved. Do not use the term "responsible for" in your resume.

Step 4 – Include the essential and important items only. Employers do not like to have to waste their time reading through long and elaborate resumes. They lose interest quickly.

Step 5 – Be honest! Although it may seem that everyone pads their resume in this day and age, doing so can actually do more harm than good. If you do get the job, your responsibilities may include tasks that you claimed to have knowledge of and don't. Also, if an employer believes that you may have doctored your resume during the interview, you will almost definitely be counted out for the position.