This article is aimed at those who are entering the workforce, for the first time, and need a little help getting started.
A good basic resume should show your aims, abilities, education, and experiences as well as why you are interested in the job for which you are applying. When a job is advertised, it is likely that many individuals will apply for it. You want your resume to stand out, so make it interesting and unique.
A resume must be accurate, neat, well-organized, well-written, but not flowery, and appropriately concise. Good grammar and correct spelling are vital. The better resumes are no longer hand-written, so if you are not computer literate, pay a friend to help you out.
Resumes should be printed on white paper and if mailed, mailed in plain white business envelopes. Make several copies of your resume to have on hand if you are also applying for unadvertised positions. File one away for future reference.
Before you start the body of your resume, gather all your information, and jot down a few notes. Now you are ready to write.
At the top of your resume, you will always put your full name, you full address including street, city, state, and zip. This will be followed by your phone number, where messages can be left, and then your email address.
Center this information at the top of the page and have your name in bold type.
The next four sections should have headings.
Aims and Ambitions
Under this heading comes a brief statement of your aims or ambitions. Make sure these relate to the job in hand. To do this, you must learn a bit about the company to which you are applying. Take the time to make it clear why you would like to work for this company, but don't be maudlin, and don't ramble. Recruiters don't care if you hope eventually to own your own company. They only care how you can contribute to theirs.
Here you will list your educational achievements. Always start with the highest level of education achieved. If you have a degree, say what it is, and where it was obtained.
If you are still in school, state where and in what capacity. If you are studying under a scholarship, you can modestly mention that here.
Education also includes any courses you have taken, no matter the duration. You can also include credits you received, and such things as first aid and CPR.
List all the jobs you have held, starting with the most recent. Outline, briefly, the duties and responsibilities, involved in each.
Include here any executive positions you have held, and any volunteer work you have done. Take this opportunity to indicate any skills you used in these positions.
Here you include any special skills which set you apart. This could include a second language, scholarships and academic awards, athletic skills (especially if the company has a company team), musical achievements, bookkeeping skills, and other related abilities.
It is acceptable for students to include some of their interests, especially if they relate to the job.
With your resume, you must include a cover letter. It cannot be a 'one size fits all' letter. You need one letter for each application you are sending or delivering, and it must be specifically directed at that one company or firm.
There are several things your cover letter must do. First it must catch the eye of the employer. It must show your enthusiasm for the job, and for that one company.
You will start by stating the position you are applying for, why you are interested in that company, and why feel you would enjoy working there.
You must than explain, briefly, why you feel your education, experience, and skills would make you a good 'fit' for the position advertised.
You will also mention that you will be following up with a phone call, email, or personal check-in.
You will then thank them for their time and consideration.
* Be aware that your cover letter must not duplicate the information in your resume. You may re-word attributes in general terms, but do not repeat yourself.
Make sure that your cover letter is well written, with good grammar and no spelling errors. It should also be computer generated and signed by you.
* Have on hand the names and contact information for two or three people who are willing to act as references for you. Ask their permission to do so beforehand. You may or may not be asked for references, but it pays to be ready just in case.
Finding a job is hard work, and part of that work involves preparing a good resume and cover letter.