THE 5 STEPS OF RESUME DEVELOPMENT
Step 1: Analyze the Job Description Read job descriptions thoroughly and then highlight all of the keywords which indicate required and preferred skills, abilities, attributes, and qualifications. If an employer is looking for somebody who is innovative, punctual, and attentive to detail, use these same or similar words in your resume.
Step 2: Generate a List of Accomplishments Create an inventory of your accomplishments—tasks that you enjoyed doing, did well, and are proud of. Include education/training, volunteer experience, jobs, projects, school assignments, travel, and group or team activities. Focus on the outcomes of your efforts. Quantify your results if possible. Don’t be humble! Resumes are promotional tools.
Step 3: Identify Relevant Skill Areas Frame your experience so that it focuses on skills and achievements that are desirable for that particular position. Make sure each accomplishment you list highlights a skill the employer is looking for.
Step 4: Write Descriptive Phrases Using action verbs, write concise phrases to describe experiences that demonstrate your relevant skills. The accomplishments on your resume should ultimately be targeted to address an employer’s needs. Do your best to place them in order of relevance with the most relevant information as close as possible to the top.
Step 5: Choose a Format While resume templates may be tempting, they tend to be inflexible; also, employers are often familiar with them and may perceive you as lacking ingenuity.
Before emailing your resume, try to find out the employer’s format preference. Some accept attachments; others prefer your resume in the text of the email message. If you can’t find out the employer’s preference, send it both ways in one message. Unless you are told otherwise, include a cover letter. Send the resume and cover letter in one email message.
When submitting a resume via an organization’s website, use the formatting and display style recommended by the website.
To send your resume as an attachment:
• Convert your document to a .pdf file to ensure formatting stays intact
• Give the document a name the recruiter will associate with you, such as “MillerJennifer.pdf” Don’t give it a generic name like “Resume.pdf”
• Be sure your document is virus free.
To send your resume in the text of the email message:
• Save both the resume and cover letter as text documents (.txt)
• Put the cover letter first
• Do not use bold, underlining, bullets, distinctive fonts, colored text, or HTML codes. Use asterisks, plus signs (+), dashes, all capital letters, and combinations of these to highlight text
• Text resumes look plain and ordinary, but employers are used to this. They are more concerned with whether the content meets their needs