What is the most
important information on your resume? Is it the great contribution you made to
the production efforts of ABC Company last year? Is it the shiny new MBA you
recently achieved, with honors? Is it your exceptional communication skills and
winning presentational presence?
No. It is your contact
information. Who you are and how your reader can reach you is, when all is said
and done, the most important information in your entire document.
See, this is getting
easier. You know who you are, you know where you live, you know your phone
number and e-mail address. You already know the most important information in
your entire resume document!
That done, the next
piece of information to include (or not include) is your "objective statement."
Do you need one? Well,
let us take a look at your career history. Is your background consistently (and
clearly) in line with the positions you are targeting? Without an objective
statement, will the reader know your career direction and will he or she
recognize the position for which you are applying?
If your background, for
example, is in operations management, and the three most recent positions you
have listed are "Operations Manager," and the position for which you are
applying is "Operations Manager," is there any real need to say you want
to be an operations manager?
Objective statements are
most useful when:
The resume is being
submitted for a specific position at a specific company ("To obtain the
position of Operations Manager for ABC Company where my extensive skills and
background in ______________________, ____________________, and
_____________________ may be best applied to achieve ABC's operational
The candidate is
changing career paths ("To use my extensive background in sales, marketing,
and personnel management for the benefit of ABC Company's operational
The candidate is a
recent graduate with little hands-on experience.
Any time the
career history alone does not present an easily identifiable "fit" for the
position being targeted.
At all times when
writing your resume, keep your audience, the reader, in mind. You want to make
this easy on your reader. Do not write an objective statement that is vague, or
one that tells your reader what you are hoping to secure ("a
challenging position that offers room for advancement"), but rather what
you have to offer.
Profile, Qualifications or Synopsis
A summary is not simply
a brief listing of what you have done, but what you know you can do.
It is a package of
skills and characteristics you offer a company. Example:
Manager offering an impressive #-year background in ___________
______________, ______________, and _______________ skills. Able to...
Proven record of
(improving, increasing, strengthening)______________, through...
Remember that criteria
you already know? That, and the unique skills and abilities you possess -
relevant to the position(s) being targeted - are what go into this section.
For example, if an ad
states that "communication skills" are an important criteria for the position,
you had better make certain "communication skills" are incorporated into your
summary section as one of the skills you possess. You could (and should) take
this one step further and let your reader know how these communication
skills are used for the benefit of the employer: "build motivated and productive
teams, generate long-term client commitments, facilitate communications..."
You can find the
criteria for a job through: a job ad, via networking, company research, and
research of similar ads (and requirements) for other positions.
Employment History /
The biggest error
candidates make when writing a resume is to tell a "story." I do not mean
writing fiction, although that would be a bad idea, too, but writing their
history as if it were a conversation; using lots of "I" statements and
"Responsible for" statements. The resume then ends up reading like a dialogue or
a laundry list, rather than a professional presentation.
If you had to bring your
history down to its most basic form it would be: Problem, Solution, Results.
Every job is held in
order to solve a problem, from the receptionist to the company president. Work
is generated because there is a problem that needs addressing, the actual work
is the solution, and the outcome of that work is the result (positive or
Eliminate the “I”
statements and begin each responsibility statement with a strong action word
that best denotes your role and level of responsibilities. See some examples of
strong action words at the end of this article.
Instead of: "I manage
the daily operations of..." or "I'm responsible for daily operations of..."
Write: "Manage daily
Let’s look at this
"Problem, Solution, Result" using the receptionist as our example:
The receptionist is
hired to solve the problems of: ringing phones, client questions, schedules of
meetings and appointments, paperwork management, etc. Those are otherwise known
as his or her "responsibilities."
His or her solution is
to: answer the phones in a responsive and timely manner, provide accurate
information to clients, organize a logical and workable schedule of appointments
and meetings, and coordinate paperwork so that it is easily retrieved on demand.
The results of his or
her work (if positive) are: the phones are answered in a timely and efficient
manner (clients feel that they are important to the company and that his or her
needs are being addressed by someone who cares), information provided
to clients is accurate and helpful (this company not only understands my
questions, but they have the answers), schedules and meetings are
workable and productive (beneficial to cost, time and operational issues),
paperwork is reliably managed and maintained (important information is easily
accessed - no frustration in trying to locate an important but missing file -
and the information it contains can be counted on to be accurate and up-to-date
- I'm not going to look like an idiot when I talk to the client).
How might this
information be listed on his or her resume?
ABC Company, City, State
January 2009 – Present
Direct and oversee
busy office operations for leading advertising firm.
coordinate client meetings and corporate appointments for Senior Advertising
Director and Marketing Manager.
telephone system, providing fast and efficient service to
potential client inquiries. Position requires detailed understanding of
current industry standards.
maintain database and paperwork management. Ensure records
and schedules are
accurate and consistently maintained.
response time and accuracy of information by 70% through the
implementation of an improved...
Isn't this an
improvement over: "I am responsible for phones, appointment scheduling, and
paperwork?" or, worse yet, "I'm just a secretary?"
Each position is
important, and each individual who holds that position provides value.
Recognizing, fully, what
services you provide, and the appreciable results you produce, should help you
in presenting this information to your, so that he or she may appreciate it, as
If your education is the
most recent accomplishment in your career, or if it holds the greatest proof of
your qualifications for the position, list it first. If you've held positions in
your field of choice, and have relevant applied experience, list your relevant
work history, first.
achievements are very important (and sometimes the deciding factor between two
otherwise equally qualified candidates), your reader is going to be most
interested in experience that shows your skills applied and how employers have
benefited from your contributions in the past.
If you feel that your
education is a trump card, list it twice; once in your summary, and once again
in its own section.
should be formatted so that they complement the rest of your document’s layout –
so make sure to present these in a similar format to that of your employment
Include your GPA, if
high, and include a coursework list if this will add strength to your document.
If you have completed a portion of a degree or education, note this for your
University of USA,
City, State . . . 2007
Bachelor of Arts degree;
Business Administration / GPA 4.0
University of USA,
City, State . . . 2007
Completed two years of
Bachelor of Arts Degree Program; Business Administration
Other Information of
List any associations or
professional organizations (relevant) for which you are a member. If you do not
belong to an organization related to your field or industry, it may worth
joining – this is a great way to network with other professionals and leaders in
List hobbies and outside
activities only if they are directly relevant to the position and company
List all volunteer work,
that is directly relevant to the position or company being targeted, the
same as you list any other work on your document (doesn’t have to be listed
DO NOT list personal
information, such as: marital status, physical health, height, weight, number of
dependents, gender, marital status, age, race or religion if you’re targeting an
American company or any company within the United States.
DO NOT include a picture
of yourself with your resume, unless you are in the modeling, speaking
or entertainment industries.
Should I Hire a Professional Resume
Writer? / 1st-Writer.com Services
Power Words List
Accomplished, Achieved, Acted, Adapted, Addressed, Administered, Advanced,
Advised, Allocated, Analyzed, Appraised, Approved, Arbitrated, Assembled,
Assessed, Assisted, Attained, Audited, Authored, Automated, Balanced, Budgeted,
Built, Calculated, Catalogued, Chaired, Clarified, Classified, Coached,
Collaborated, Collected, Communicated, Compiled, Completed, Composed, Computed,
Conceived, Conceptualized, Conducted, Confirmed, Consolidated, Contained,
Contracted, Contributed, Controlled, Convinced, Coordinated, Corresponded,
Counseled, Created, Critiqued, Cultivated, Customized, Cut, Decreased,
Delegated, Demonstrated, Demystified, Designed, Developed, Devised, Diagnosed,
Directed, Dispatched, Disseminated, Distinguished, Diversified, Drafted, Drove,
Edited, Educated, Effected, Eliminated, Enabled, Encouraged, Engineered,
Enlisted, Ensured, Established, Evaluated, Examined, Executed, Expanded,
Expedited, Explained, Extracted, Fabricated, Facilitated, Familiarized,
Fashioned, Focused, Forecasted, Formulated, Found, Founded, Generated, Guided,
Headed, Identified, Illustrated, Implemented, Improved, Incorporated, Increased,
Indoctrinated, Influenced, Informed, Initiated, Innovated, Inspected, Installed,
Instigated, Instituted, Instructed, Integrated, Interpreted, Interviewed,
Introduced, Invented, Investigated, Launched, Lectured, Led, Maintained,
Managed, Marketed, Mastered, Mediated, Moderated, Monitored, Motivated,
Negotiated, Operated, Organized, Originated, Overhauled, Oversaw, Participated,
Performed, Persuaded, Pinpointed, Pioneered, Planned, Prepared, Presented,
Prioritized, Processed, Produced, Proficient in, Programmed, Projected,
Promoted, Proposed, Proved, Provided, Publicized, Published, Purchased,
Recommended, Reconciled, Recorded, Recruited, Reduced, Referred, Regulated,
Rehabilitated, Reinforced, Reintroduced, Remodeled, Reorganized, Repaired,
Reported, Represented, Researched, Resolved, Restored, Restructured, Retrieved,
Revamped, Reviewed, Revised, Revitalized, Saved, Scheduled, Screened, Set, Set
up, Shaped, Simplified, Solidified, Solved, Spearheaded, Specified, Spoke,
Stimulated, Streamlined, Strengthened, Structured, Summarized, Supervised,
Supported, Surveyed, Systemized, Tabulated, Targeted, Taught, Teamed, Tracked,
Trained, Transformed, Translated, Traveled, Trimmed, Troubleshot, Upgraded,
Utilized, Validated, Won, Worked, Wrote
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