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Resumes – So Many Questions

  • Posted by WritingScale
  • May 26, 2017
Content resumes   so many questions

Is there such a thing as a perfect resume? Probably not. But there is a lot to learn about crafting the right resume and the right resume format for the position/organization to which it will be submitted. When the resume “looks” right to a potential employer, it will get more than the usual 10-second perusal and could actually result in a call for an interview. Here are some pointers that may help as you work toward that perfect resume.

What Type of Resume Should I Use?

The short answer is this: It depends. You can search online for resume templates, and you will find millions of results – everything from a formal traditional resume to a wildly progressive one with splashes of color and unique and creative formats. The resume format you use will be based upon the organization to which it will be submitted.

  • If the position is with a conservative organization (e.g., bank), you will want to use a traditional, formal resume type.
  • If the position is with a new progressive startup, you will want to get splashy and creative.
  • There will be many organizations in between, and you will need to use moderate-to-liberal formats

As you can see, you may need to fashion several different resumes. The answer to your question, “How should a resume be formatted?” will vary a lot. Do your research on every enterprise to which you will be submitting your resume, and fashion it accordingly.

Some Common Elements

No matter what type of resume you choose to use, there are some common elements and formatting specifics:

  • Your resume address format will remain the same. It should be at the top of your resume. Do not include your physical address – no one really cares about that. Place your email address right under your name and before your contact telephone number.
  • In terms of resume date format, forget it. Do not put any date on your resume. Do, however, place dates of employment when you list your experience. These should be in the format of “month, year – month, year” and should be placed right under the company/organization. The exception to this is if you held a couple of positions with the same company. You will then want to put the dates next to each position held.

Some Key Tips for All Resumes

  1. Keep It Short: This is easy for a “newbie” to the world of work, specifically a new graduate just entering the workforce. It is much more difficult for a career professional who has many years of work experience.
  2. Use Bulleted Phrases: This will cut down length of the document, but even more important, it will allow readers to scan your resume for important elements that relate to their needs
  3. Use Bold Print Strategically: You have read the job posting; you know the skills that are important to this potential employer. Highlight those specific skills in bold so that they catch the reader’s eye
  4. Get Those Keywords In: Again, there are keywords in that job posting that relate to the position title and to skills. Many resumes are now automatically scanned for those words and phrases before they are passed on for human review. It’s easy for you to get through that automatic scan if you just get those keywords in.
  5. Focus on Accomplishments/Achievements: Do not just describe your job experience. List your achievements with as much detail as possible. This makes your work experience meaningful.

Formatting a resume is a challenge but does not have to be an impossible task. If you are wondering, “What kind of resume should I use?” you can find templates to match what you need for any organization “culture.” Your challenge is to get your information into that format in an engaging way.

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