What does your résumé say about you? Does your résumé focus on your past rather than your future? Or does your résumé highlight your unique talents and experience?
Do you know which of the three most common types of résumés would work best for you? How much time do you normally spend on creating a résumé? Are you quick to use a template or copy someone else's résumé rather than create your own? What do you want to accomplish or achieve with your résumé?
These are only a few examples of questions that you need to be asking yourself when creating a résumé that will catch the attention of a potential employer and get an invite for an interview.
You can choose to create a standard chronological résumé that primarily lists all the jobs that you've held, from the most recent backwards, or you can choose to give yourself a competitive advantage by customizing and creating a professional, polished résumé that communicates your strengths as skills, accomplishments and capabilities.
Here are some basic guidelines to help you in your résumé preparation.
- Invest the time to do it right. Make sure that your résumé does not have typographical, grammatical or punctuation errors.
- Make sure your résumé is no longer than two pages.
- Become familiar with the three most common types of résumés and choose the one that works best for you. The three types of résumé are the chronological, the functional and the combination résumé.
- Create your own résumé. There is nothing wrong with looking at other résumés for ideas, but let your résumé be a reflection of your own skills and accomplishments.
- Customize your résumé for each job or position that you are applying for. Remember your competitive advantage.
- Know the difference between an objective statement and a summary statement. Be specific and customize your objective and summary statements to each targeted position.
- Be honest and don't misrepresent yourself. If caught, there is a good chance you could lose your job.
- Make sure your résumé is easy to read and is simple in design. Use plenty of white space, avoid using too many type styles, and keep your sentences or paragraphs short.
- Do not list references on your résumé or type "references available upon request." On a separate page, you can list your references to make available if asked.
Debbie Walker, a mental health therapist and certified career coach who runs Debbie Walker LPC in Martinez, can be reached at (706) 504-4063.