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The Resume Headache and How To Get Rid of It

Let’s be honest – nobody loves writing their own resume. It’s frustrating to string together all of those life “episodes” in a way that makes sense for the direction in which we are now heading. Then there are those questions we ask ourselves that distract us from the whole point of the resume, like: “How much personal information should I include? How can I make mine stand out from other resumes? Should I include a photo?” It is so easy to get tangled up in the details of your entire life that you forget that, while the resume is a factual document, it is also a marketing piece.

My experience in working with job-seekers has revealed a number of interesting observations. The first is that people seem to dislike editing their life. They fear leaving something out that could enhance their candidacy. The problem here is that too much information could cause the hiring agent to toss that resume in favor of candidates that have less complicated resumes.

The second observation I’ve made is that people aren’t clear on the impact of a well-written objective. The objective on a resume tells the hiring agent exactly what you want. If your objective is specific, and fits well with the company, it could be the deciding factor between you and a similar candidate, particularly if that candidate didn’t include an objective. Remember, an objective on a resume is not set in stone. It can be tweaked to fit the particular opportunity for which you are submitting your resume.

The rules of thumb for a basic resume aren’t really as challenging as some would think. Unless you are in a technical field or seeking an executive position, your resume shouldn’t be more than one page. It should include your objective at the top, your education, and your last ten years of work history in chronological order with the most recent first – working backwards. Depending on the space available, you can add a “Special Skills” Section. Though some prefer to indicate that references are “available upon request,” I advise adding the names, titles and phone numbers of two references at the bottom. It just makes it easier on the hiring agent.

This is the standard format that I use, and while there are other details involved, the challenge of writing a good resume is more about preparation than putting computer ink to paper.

Prior to writing your resume you should make sure that your answer greeting for the phone numbers you include on the resume is something you wouldn’t mind a potential employer hearing. I had one client with a cell phone greeting that was completely inaudible, and another client with a greeting that sounded as though she was in the middle of a party.

I don’t advise using an e-mail address on a resume. There are just too many reasons that something could go wrong (i.e.: mailbox overload, technical problems, etc.) However, if you feel you must use your e-mail address, here are some tips. Change your e-mail address or reconsider using it on a resume if it is something like wildchild@whatever.com or buffdude@whatever.com. The idea is that you want to convey an appropriate image from the start. Also, you need to be able to check your e-mail several times daily in order to be responsive. If you are going to be out of town and don’t have other access, make arrangements to have someone check your e-mail. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that, if a hiring agent is really interested, he will call you if he can’t get you by e-mail. The responsibility is yours to be accessible. If you make it difficult for them, or add time to their schedule, you may be risking your candidacy.

What I’ve shared may sound like a lot of common sense, but there really is a process to creating a good resume. Streamlining work history is usually the key concern for most people. Resume preparation becomes more difficult, however, for those who have problematic situations, but even those can be resolved. If you have limited work history, making your resume appear “thin,” then add or elaborate on a “Special Skills/Training” section or “Special Skills/Experience” section. If you don’t have a college degree or formal education beyond high school, you can still use your graduation from high school on your resume. Include other training, as well. For those with a long military background, make sure your duties are expressed in everyday language, and show a relation between that work and your new career objective.

The most important action to take when preparing and writing your resume is to adopt a marketing mindset. With a basic format and the right mindset, that resume headache you started out with will never haunt you again.

About The Author

Mary Kurek is a Networking and Marketing Coach who works with entrepreneurs and people transitioning jobs and careers. Mary is launching an instant resume kit in late March 2007. She conducts workshops on the subjects of networking, entrepreneurship and small business marketing. Her new book, Whose Hiding in Your Address Book is due for release June 2007. Visit http://www.marykurek.com Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mary_Kurek

 

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