You've decided you can write your own resume - after all you have a computer,
know how to type, and think that it is a simple procedure. Turns out that
writing an effective resume is not a task to be undertaken lightly. According to
HR professionals, nearly 95% of resumes in circulation (either on paper or in
cyberspace) are bad. You can have a big advantage by avoiding some of the most
* Don't grab an old book on "How to Write a Resume." Resume styles are very
dynamic and in constant change. Start with what you think the reader needs to
o Who are you and how do I reach you?
o What can you do for me?
o Are you smart enough to train?
o What have you done in the past that might be helpful to me?
o What did you accomplish in those jobs?
* Don't leave off dates because it looks like you can't hold a job. This can
lead to the reader assuming all sorts of things like "Has he/she been doing hard
o Try a functional style where you can list your skill set.
* Combine employment dates when in the same field. Include your duties, of
course, but don't leave out your accomplishments. These are what set you apart
from the crowd. Hints:
o Increased sales by x% in six months.
o Acquired x new clients in existing territory, increasing sales by y%.
* Leave off the personal information. No one cares and some might find your
information objectionable. Hint:.
o Do not include your age, gender, race, church affiliation, or hunting
skills. For everything you like, someone can find a reason to disqualify you on
* Don't get long-winded. Resumes have a life span of about 20 to 30 seconds.
If you don't get their attention quickly, you'll never get it. Keep your resume
short and concise.
* Proofread and then proofread again. A resume with a typo is a killer.
* Use good paper and a good printer. If you don't care how you look when you
want a job, what will the employer think about how you will handle yourself once
you have the job?
* Don't just send out bunches of resumes hoping that someone will call.
Target your mailing to firms that could use someone with your skills.
* Avoid the use of industry slang. If you can walk the walk the employer will
know you can talk the talk.
* Write short, easy-to-read, statements about your skills, knowledge, and