Resume Writing and Resume Editing
How to Write a Resume that will get you Interviews and a Job
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How to Write a Resume that will get you Interviews and a Job


What is a Resume?

The resume is primarily a means to sell your capabilities and services. It is quite unlike a Curriculum Vitae, the chronological list of work and education experiences preferred in Europe and the Far East. The Resume provides details of your skills and experiences to a potential employer so that he can see, in a short summary, how your skills are relevant to the potential job and how you could contribute something of value in your future workplace.

A resume is your advertising and selling tool.You might fulfill all the requirements for a specific position, but your resume fails, if the employer does not, on the basis of what he sees on it, immediately conclude that you are the person for the job. Remember, your first priority is to create a resume that attracts the readers immediate attention. The initial twenty seconds will decide whether it ends up in the "under consideration" or the "rejected" file.

The most effective resumes are focused specifically on a job and address the potential employer's stated requirements for the position. The more you know about the duties and skills the job demands the better you can organize your resume around these requirements and the more effective the resume will be.

Some Key Points

Your resume is about the next job you want to get and your past achievements are only important within that context. Try to remain relevant, when you talk about your past achievement. This is especially important when you describe your past jobs. Keep it short and stay clear of repeating job descriptions. Instead, write what you achieved in that job. If there are aspect of your past jobs that you did not like, don't write about them. Stress the elements that you liked and, presumably, were good at in your past jobs. But, again, remain relevant with those and only use them if the qualities or experiences are asked for in the job you are applying to. Don't lie in your resume. There is a narrow line between stretching the truth and lying!

The Importance of Information about the Job you apply for

Hence, the primary requirement for writing a good resume is information about the job on offer. It is not enough to regurgitate what you have done in the past, since that information, with all its accomplishments, skills and experiences is only relevant within the requirements of the position for which you want to be considered.The more you know about the job and the employer the more likely you can "cut the cloth to the right size" and create a resume that explains how you will be an asset for your future employer within the job he offers.

The Types of Resume

The choice of the right resume format is important, when applying for a job.Exhibiting the right characteristics and skills mix in the right format, may attract the immediate interest of the human resources, or functional manager, reading it. There are four basic styles, three of them are most commonly used within the USA and Canada, the fourth one, is the European Curriculum Vitae. For more details, click on the one, that you are looking for.

Chronological Resume - see an example This is the most liked by employers, because it is simple to read and evaluate. A European Style Curriculum Vitae The European style CV is quite different from a short resume. It is far more extensive in terms of personal and work history information (usually 2 to 4 pages long)

If you are looking for a job internationally, the CV is the style you need, if you want your submission to be read by executive recruiters, and employers.

Functional Resume - see an example Present your past work experience under skill heading. This is only recommended if you have a problematic work history.
The Chrono-Functional Combination Resume (chronological resume with functional subheadings) Your chronological work history with subheadings that highlight your skills. This format is also liked by employers, because it combines the best of the two formats

Which of those resumes you use depends on the individual circumstances. If you are unsure, go to the individual pages and read the reasons for the right choice.

Which resume is the "best" format and what is preferred by employers?

The chronological format is most liked by employers. This is closely followed by the chrono-functional combination resume. As a general rule, recruiters and employers tend to be more suspicious of job applications using the functional format. It is much easier to make exaggerated claims about job achievements in a functional format.

There are ways to address these concerns. You can clearly link each achievement you claim to a job title and a specific job listed in your work history or another section that gives information on dates and places.

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Resume Content and Relevance

Writing a resume takes some time and should be dome with some preparation. You want to get the job and there are hundreds of more or less equally qualified people out there, that want to do the same. So your first task is getting the human resources manager to invite you to an interview. Below are some points that will help you with the content of your resume and its format. There are also important points about your cover letter, which you can get here.

Define the Purpose of the Resume The Purpose of the Resume is, In the first instance, to be considered suitable and be called for an interview.
Stress your Strengths and show your Technical and Personal Qualities It is important to show your relevant technical and personal qualities and strengths to a future employer. The emphasis here is on "relevant". Therefore, read the job description and advertisement well, so that you keep the qualities you offer relevant to the job! Back up your qualities with achievements that show them in the right context. Do not exaggerate your abilities, but show the ones you have!
Use the right Title for the Positions you held Don't be general and "wishy-washy". Each job has a title, use it in a relevant way, when describing your past duties and jobs.
Make the most important points first! Make the important points (qualities, experience, training, leadership, responsibility, etc) that are relevant to the job offered first. Health Care jobs, probably more than most other jobs are defined by a mix of technical ability, human emotional strength and team work. Show how you can excel in all of those, within the job on offer!
Show and describe your professional Goal Be short and to the point and only describe what is relevant within the job on offer. Be specific, not vague, but remain relevant!
Explain the benefits of your skills to your work and the Job offered The employer will want to know how your technical ability and your experience will be relevant to the job offered. The mere fact that you have these abilities is not enough.
Achievements and Responsibilities Show in your resume what you have achieved within the responsibilities given to you in your former jobs. Just listing responsibilities will not be enough.
Individual Resumes Write individual resumes for each job application. Having a "general or generic resume" will be helpful for that. But you have to individualize each resume you submit so that it reflects what you bring to the job.
Irrelevant Information Do not include irrelevant information in your resume. In the USA/Canada things like your political affiliation, religion and sexual preference are not normally included in a resume. Even age is not seen as relevant, nor is your marital status, or country of citizenship (except for certain government jobs).

European CV's will require you to state your age, marital status, country of citizenship, but never your religion, political affiliation or sexual preferences.

Avoid being Negative Don't sound negative about former employers, whether in your resume, nor in your interview. Don't state what you disliked to do in your job.
Identification of Name and Contact Details Put your name and your contact details clearly on the top of your resume. Repeat the name and the e-mail or phone on the top of the second page.

If you have a name that can be used by either male or female, make sure that you state Mr. or Ms., where you have your name. If you have a foreign name, identifying gender is often difficult.

Do not state the obvious Avoid stating obvious facts, like "available for interview" or "references on request". If you would not be interested in an interview or in giving references, you would not apply for the job!
List all your Positions If you continuously worked for the same company for a considerable time, list all the different positions and roles that you had separately. You probably had different responsibilities and developed different skills on each role, so the employer will like to know it. If space is an issue in your resume, give less detail on positions you held further back in time, or, if they have less relevance to the job you apply for
Have a complete Listing of your Work Experience. List all the relevant Jobs you have held, but unless it is your first job after university, or it is functionally relevant, don't mention that you "flipped Hamburgers" or worked in a dry cleaning as a summer job!
Only List Activities that are relevant to the Job Application Don't list your hobbies or even involvement in civic affairs. Unless, obviously, it has a direct relevance to the job you apply for. But otherwise, being a Deacon in your Church does not interest the employer.
No use of Slang or Professional Jargon in your Resume Don't use slang of professional jargon in your resume. The Human Resources Manager may only have a passing acquaintance with your professional terminology, and he will be the first one to see the resume!

The Format of your Resume

Format is just as important as content. A poorly formatted resume is very unlikely read. Format shows attention to detail. If you don't do that, you are also unlikely to fit the job where attention to detail is important.

Format is visual and people almost always react to visual stimulation. If something looks nice and attractive it has appeal and that is winning a substantial part of the battle.

Pay Attention to the Format, Type face and general layout Make sure that your have a layout which is easy to read and well organized. Use a font (type face) that is large enough (10-12 point, depending on the font) and see that your layout keeps sufficient "white space". The best fonts are probably Ariel, Times Roman, Helvetica or Verdana. Refrain from using exotic fonts! They usually end up in the waste paper basket!

Remember your resume should not exceed 2 pages. Do not use capital letters to emphasize something in the script of your resume (except where it is grammatically correct!)

The key is to communicate the message that you are suitable for the job offered!

Use "bullets" to emphasize something in your layout Avoid long and boring text paragraphs. Personnel Managers (Human resource managers) like to read short and relevant paragraphs, because they have lots of applicants to consider. therefore
  • Keep your sentences short, and
  • to the point
  • Do not fill the whole page with text. White space between the words, lines and paragraphs will improve the legibility of your resume.
Pictures Don't include or attach pictures to your resume, unless it is a requirement for that job.
Printer and Paper For a paper version of the resume, use good white paper and a good quality laser printer. Do not use color paper or paper with printed borders etc
The Email Resume Use a standard format such as .doc or .pdf or simply text (.txt or .rtf) Remember most Human Resource Managers or employers will not even attempt to open other documents.
Proof-Read the Resume several times A resume with mistakes will almost always end up in the wastepaper basket. Therefore, the importance of proof-reading your resume cannot be emphasized enough.
  • If English is your second language, have someone whose first language is English, proof your resume and cover letter.
  • A single typo can cost you the chance of the job.
  • An uncommon English formulation will reduce your chances of getting an interview, let alone the job.
Have someone Review your Resume Whatever you think about your resume, before you send it out, get a second and third opinion about it. When you work too long on your resume, you will not see your own mistakes. Another person will be in a better position, to evaluate the overall quality of your resume and maybe make some valuable suggestions.

Remember, there is not "one way" that is absolutely the correct method to write a resume. But there are better and worse ways to do that. Some things are really important, others are more peripheral. The goal of the resume is that you get an interview which will ultimately result in you being offered the job. The more you know about "what and why", the better a product, you will create. That is why reading some books on the topic will be helpful.

Some essential Books from

Resume Writers, Resume Appraisers and why they are useful and worth their money

We thought long and hard about this question! After all, "everyone can write a resume". So, why use someone else, who is not familiar with your particular circumstances and who does not know your ambitions, job wise? Maybe, the answer is in this very sentence: In your own eagerness to present yourself in the best possible light to a future employer, you overlook what the employer sees, or wants to see from you! You present, in your resume, what you want, rather than what the employer requires or what he is looking for.

A professional resume writer is not the prisoner of his own representation. He or she looks at the task of writing a resume in a neutral fashion, dispassionate and with distance to your own past. As a consequence, that resume writer might see strengths and weaknesses that are not seen as important by you. The distance creates a balanced picture of yourself.

Most people argue that each resume has to be written as a response to a specific job, because only some of the things, you might offer, will be useful in that job. Therefore, the resume as a response to a job vacancy, has to be tailor-made. That is absolutely correct! However, if you start off with a well written generic resume that projects your abilities and your strengths, while it puts your weaknesses somewhat in the background, you are starting out with an advantage.

A Resume Appraiser, as opposed to a writer, will look at you resume and recommend, if required, changes. There are numerous free sites for that, but you have to remember that the business of the appraiser comes from resume writing and the free appraisal is one way to get clients. That does not reduce their usefulness in creating a good resume, but you have to be aware of it.

There are a number of sites offering Resume Writing Services. JobLine International also has a team of highly experienced resume writers, that offer resume and Cover letter writing. Below is a comparative analysis of some of the services offered on the net. Click on the names on the far left, if you want to know more. Prices may vary from time to time.

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Specialist Resume Writing Services

JobLine International $129.00
We have a resume writing Service that offers a written resume sent to you by e-mail based on your data, plus a generic Cover Letter (or specific, if you want that) . Turn around is usually 24-72 hours. MS Word format or html. Special services such as translations or the writing of a Curriculum Vitae ($249.00) are also available.
* $119-245 This services offers a variety of specialist resume products including updates, thank you letters, interview coaching and employment testing. Recommended!
* $150-295 By providing powerful, distinctive resumes that consistently win interviews, our hand-picked team of certified resume writers have helped thousands of clients articulate their qualifications and land jobs at the nation's top employers, from Microsoft, Cisco, and Goldman Sachs to McKinsey, AT&T, and the federal government. Price Range varies with importance of jobs. Recommended!
* $119-395 Monster is not only a large job board, but also offers a variety of support services for job seekers. One of them is Resume editing ($119) and Resume writing (from $215) . In their own words: We know what employers want. We market your strengths to edge out the competition. We tailor your resume to meet your specific needs. Recommended!

We have had direct experience with the above services we recommend. Other services are by no means inferior, but we have not had any direct experience with them.

Company Resume Forms

Many companies provide forms for their applications, so that you do not have to create a resume or CV. This is more common in the USA than in Europe. Below is a site that provides such forms for a large number of different jobs and companies.

Web Site Type of Site Location, Language Remark
Job-Applications Information and Form Resume creation site USA, English Find hundreds of online applications and printable job forms

Editing your Resume and Cover Letter

We will edit your existing resume and a specific cover letter. You send us your resume and cover letter by e-mail and we will edit it to help it along, and make it appropriate to the job you apply. Obviously, we will need a short description of the job as well (we do not need the employers name, but the country location would be useful, since resume and cover letters can be different from one country to another).

Please send the supporting material (resume, cover letter, short description of job applied for) to the email address you will be given after payment in the order acknowledgement. We will normally edit your resume/cover letter within 72 hours.

Some more essential Books from

Using e-mail blasting services to distribute your Resume to different Job Boards

The Internet has become an extremely popular place to post your resume and also for employers to find suitable candidates. There are a number of services that offer to post your resume on 50 to 100 sites for a small fee. This is obviously helpful, because, everything else being equal, timing the posting of your resume, is the key to finding a job quickly. With domestic, in the USA/Canada based jobs, many recruiting managers post over the weekend, so when they come into the office on Monday morning, they have already received responses to their posting. Most employers and recruiters review these submissions in the order in which they receive them. If, on first evaluation, the recruiter finds between 4 and 8 suitable candidates, he will look no further.

That is where resume posting services become useful. You submit your resume to them and they then supply employers and job boards with your details.

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