Resume Writing Tips

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Make sure that your resume is up to date with your latest job experience and educational accomplishments. Have a friend or relative evaluate your resume to see if it is clear, consistent, and fairly represents your skills and experience.

Is your resume in a high impact format?

Be sure to do a spell check on your resume. Misspelled works can reflect negatively on you and diminish your prospects.

Many companies have a form on their web sites for submitting electronic resumes. Have a version of your resume that you can cut and paste into submittal forms. Create one that doesn't have columns and indents as these do not work well when pasted into a form.

Let your family, friends, alumni groups, and industry contacts know you are looking for a job. Send them your resume. Many jobs are unadvertised and these people may know of potential openings. Also many employers would rather hire someone suggested to them by a person they trust.

Summit your resume electronically to companies rather than via paper if possible. Check out their web sites to see if they have a resume submittal form. Submit it through the form, if not send them an electronic version in Word or as a text file. Many large companies put electronic resumes into a database which then can be searched by managers looking to hire additional people. Using the database managers can do keyword searches to quickly find candidates. Most managers do not want to take the time to wade through hundreds of paper resumes looking for candidates. Most paper resumes never even get looked at in some of these large companies. A local large airplane manufacturer and a local large software company rely heavily on their resume database for new candidates.

Post your resume to resume databases. Generally the posting is free. This is a lot more cost effective then spending hundreds of dollars in printing and postage costs blindly sending out resumes to companies. Recruiters search these databases looking for candidates to fill positions..

A potentially even more effective approach is to use a resume distribution service. For a small price you can blast your resume out to 1000's of recruiters. This can be more effective than waiting for a recruiter to stumble across your resume in a database. It also only costs a fraction of the amount it would for printing and postage to do a mass mailing of your resume. Most of these services give you some control over what industries and geographic regions your resume is sent to.

Many jobs are unadvertised as employers don't want to be bombarded by thousands of resumes. Therefore it is important for you to get your resume in the hands of your contacts. Also get your resume into the databases that potential employers can search.

Look in the job databases for potential openings. You can search through thousands of potential jobs using field and location selection criteria.. Many local employers post job openings in this database because the state does not charge a fee for the service.

If you are in college or have graduated from a local college check out their career services department. Many have web sites with links to recruiters, upcoming recruiter visits, job postings, and much more.

Most major and even local newspapers have online editions with help wanted sections. These can be superior to paper editions because you can often do keyword searches allowing you to zero in on potential jobs. This is much more efficient than reading hundreds of job ads in paper editions.

Landing that first job can be hard. Many employers look for "experienced" candidates.

If you have had internships be sure to emphasize them in your resume.

If you have assisted a professor in research or teaching emphasize that in your resume.

Many of your smaller companies feel they don't have the time or resources to train you. They need someone that can be productive now!

Generally your larger companies have resources and internal training programs to get inexperienced employees up to speed. Your may have a better chance getting on with a larger company.

Your first job may not be your "dream" job. Look for one that can give you experience and make you attractive to an employer a few years down the road.

Large companies are often a great place to start because they tend to be the most willing to hire and train new graduates. Unfortunately they are often not the best place to have a career. Many large companies are stagnant or grow slowly. Promotions and career growth is often slow and you have to wait for someone ahead of you to retire. If you go to work for a large company do it for a few years to get some practical experience to add to your resume. If your career has not advanced significantly after a few years look for new opportunities. It is often easy to get stuck at a large company because they offer stability, decent salary, and good benefits.

Once you have some experience look for a young fast growing company to join. Often you can ride their success upwards to a much higher position and salary compared to staying with an older slow growth company. Look at what happened to the people that joined Microsoft early on. If you have visions of having your own business some day find out who is the best company in your industry. Go to work for them and learn what they have done to be successful. Also look for how you could do things better than they do. Then after a few years take the plunge and start your own company.

Josh Nay
Employment Solutions 4u

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