Monday, April 25, 2011

Resume: Advertise Yourself

Résumés are one of the most important things you needed when applying for a job. It is considered as a form of self-advertising. Many employers make résumé a basis for hiring new members of the organization.  It is therefore essential in determining whether or not you’ll get the job you always wanted.
Here are the steps on how to make your résumé work for you:
The Preparation:

Employers are more concerned about the things you can do for them. A well-written résumé could get you to the first steps of hiring, but always remember you need to prove the claims you made. In organizing your résumé, consider the following:
1.) What are my skills? How can these skills prove my ability? How can I put them into writing?
2.) What kind of worker my target companies want? Do I prefer working with people or by myself? 
3.) What are my strong points? Am I a leader or a follower? How can I give proof to this point?
4.) What are my personal characteristics? Do I possess creativity?  Am I quick in learning new things?
5.) What are my communication skills? Am I good at writing or speaking? Do I speak a foreign language? How can it be helpful to the company?  How can I prove I have those skills?
6.) What are my technical skills?  Am I good at computers? Can I operate equipments used in the line of        work I want?
7.) My education, work experience, skills and personal background; do they coincide with the job specifications?
Writing them down: The Basic Parts
Personal Information/Heading: This includes your name, address, contact numbers, and email address
State the reason for submitting your résumé
Do you want a full time or part position? Is this for an internship program?
Which department are you applying for?  
Be sure your objective statement matches with the job description advertised.
There are two types of objectives to choose from:
Specific objective- it is used for a specific position you are seeking.
Example: A fulltime position as a Human Resource Officer with the focus on employees’ training
General Objective- it is useful if you are planning to apply for many jobs with a single résumé.
Example: A part-time position as an office clerk
Work Experience
Here, list your employment background from the most recent backwards.
Include company/employer’s name and address
Complete dates of employment
State your most important title or position with your duties and responsibilities.  
You can also include your work accomplishments, promotions and activities initiated or have taken part in.
a. Describe your work experience specifically.
Examples: Served an average of 50 store customers a day
Co-authored the company’s 100-page employees’ handbook
b. Include only the work experiences relevant to the job you are applying for
c. Be sure to illustrate your qualities like initiative, resourcefulness, leadership, team work, and technical skills in your the job descriptions
d. What if you didn’t have paid work experience? You can include your volunteer work, community-based activities, or organizational positions you had in college.
Here, list the names of the academic institutions you attended.
Include the dates of attendance, subjects you studied, and degrees you earned
Employers are also particular with your academic performance, so mention your grade point average (GPA) or your class ranking. However, no matter how confident you are with your academic record, avoid listing all the subjects taken for it may bore the recruiter.
You can also list the seminars or training attended if they are relevant to the position you are applying for. This is helpful if you lack the experience.   
Include keywords that are in the job specifications. This will help you focus on the kind of skills the employer might be interested in.
The most common skills are for technology, equipment use or familiarity, communication skills, people handling skills, time management, organizational skills, and acquired skills from previous employment.
If you are not confident about your skills, mention that you have the background and the capacity to learn them quickly.
Honors and Awards
It’s time to highlight your scholarships, honors, recognition, and certificates.
Be sure to describe them clearly. The employer may not be familiar with the nature of awards you received.
Examples: Recipient of the School President’s Award (don’t do this)
            Recipient of the School President’s Award, a scholarship for the university’s top 10 students (*)
If you have about two items to include here, better integrate them with your Education or Employment sections.
You can also include honors or recognition you received from your community.
Illustrate your capacity by using action words as a highlight.
Example: Initiated the revival of the departmental newsletter, serving as its editor.
Personal Data
It is a trend in today’s job market to discard information on gender, religion, age, marital status, height, weight, or nationality. It is believed they don’t relate to the capacity of the individuals to perform the job. Be sure to read the job ad for it may require this section to be included.
Other Qualifications
This section is reserved for the information you can’t group under previous sections.
Includes special talents, certifications or awards outside of your academic or employment history
This may include hobbies that are relevant to the job and can be a very good part of interview topic
It is advised that you separate this section from the résumé
To do this, list your references in a different sheet and have it handy when recruiters ask
Be sure to include the person’s full name with a title, their position, institutions they work for and its address, and their contact number including the area or country codes
Warning: Trap ahead!
Important things people overlook when writing their résumés:
·         Use common fonts like Times New Roman and avoid small prints.
·         Use bullets instead of graphics
·         Don’t put the word “résumé”
·         Use good quality paper and printer
·         Avoid using “I”. It is given that your résumé tells about you
·         Résumés don’t exactly use complete sentences, so avoid putting periods after your lines
·         Effective résumés are those written in a single piece of paper. If it’s impossible to have it    in a single page, be sure to write your name and the page number on the next pages. Remember though that the best résumés are up to two pages long
·         Never invent information to include. A false employment date or position can disqualify you.
·         Write and revise. It is better to keep a résumé ready for any job opportunity that may come along. It also gives you time to identify the mistakes committed.

Good luck with your job hunting!