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Essential Elements of a Successful Resume
By Dr. Jerry Bills

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1. Every resume needs to tell the employer exactly who you are and how to reach you. The resume needs to have your name, a good mailing address, and one telephone number that will be answered professionally, even when you are not at home. So pick a number with voice mail or hook up an answering machine and record a professional message.

2. Every resume needs to tell the employer: "Here is what I can do for you". The resume must list your special skills, knowledge, and abilities as well as your measurable achievements. The employer needs to know what benefits you will be bringing to the Company and to the position.

3. Every resume needs to tell the employer about your education and training. Human Resource staff and hiring authorities are always interested in knowing whether the applicant is smart enough to be trained to do things their way. But too much education listed on a resume can overwhelm the reader. If you have a degree you do not need to list all your classes. Being a private pilot or having a green belt in Kung Fu may impress your friends, but those skills may not be of real value to an employer.

4. Every resume needs to tell the employer about what you have accomplished. What you have accomplished in your present and past positions is very important information that must be conveyed to the employer who will examine these accomplishments. You should list specific jobs and outline your duties and your accomplishments proactively.

5. Every resume needs to motivate the employer to action! An effective resume and cover letter will motivate the employer to pick up the telephone and call you for an interview. You can then further sell yourself and your accomplishments.

Dr. Jerry Bills, the Writing and Resume Wonk
[Wonk (noun): An expert who studies a subject or issue thoroughly or exclusively.]

Colorado Springs, CO
1.719.447.1147 (in Colorado) or, toll-free,
1.866.666.1147 (outside of Colorado)
Outside the USA by e-mail only

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