There are thousands of literature or resources on the subject of "resume writing". Each one giving a different prespective on what to include, the manner of presentation (e.g., chronological, functional or combination of both), how long or how many pages it should be, and what type of paper or media to use. Most, if not all, are very good suggestions. But the most effective resource is the one that gets the jobseeker the end result - a call for a job interview.
At Jobs Annex, we believe resume writing should begin with the end in mind, a clear picture of what the jobseeker imagines himself -- with the job interviewer, answering questions thrown at him or her. The interviewer can be the Human resource staff, the supervisor, the hiring manager, the executive manager, or the owner. By understanding who the audience (or interviewer) will be, the resume can be designed to fit their needs. For example, the HR staff may be looking for specific qualifications based on the job description. The supervisor may be looking for experience and skills. The hiring manager may be looking for possible talents that the job applicant may have that would enhance the output of his department. The executive manager or owner may be looking for strong managerial skills or a proven track record of accomplishments. These needs are expressed in the keywords that they look for in the resume. By being mindful of the keywords and strategically placing them in the resume will definitely attract the attention of the interviewer.
More often than not, the jobseeker have no clue who the potential interviewers would be. However, a little investigation or search about the company, its products and services, its officers or key employees, will help identify the potential interviewers. A small company, for example, may not have a formal Human Resource department. The owner or the general manager may act as the prime interviewer. If the job is for a very large company and is a non-managerial position, the highest interviewing officer could be the hiring manager or the department head, and probably not the chief operating officer. If the job is a technical position, chances are there may be a panel of interviewers, mostly key employees in the department. In other words, knowing more about the company beyond what is written in the job description will help understand who the target audience will be and what keywords or "buzz" words to watch for in the resume.
After defining the target audience, the next step is the listing of the most important keywords -- by closely reading the job descripiton and highlighting the words that stand out. This helps in designing the structure, content and length of the resume. Unnecessary content or information are avoided so that the reader is focused on the keywords. Sometimes, less is more...
Important tips to remember in resume writing:
1. Resume is an advertisement of you the job applicant. Show your stong points (e.g., experience, knowledge or skills) and how the hiring company can benefit from your strengths. Embelish the narrative with the keywords that you identified from your analysis of the job description.
2. Be clear and bold with the statment of your job objective. Make this the first major topic of your resume. Specify the position you are applying for followed by a strong statement of your qualities or capabilities that you are willing to perform for the company. Your previous research about what is important to the company should help you define these qualities.
3. The Summary of Qualification should contain a few but concise and compelling statements of your qualities, achievements or abilities. These should leave no doubt to the prospective employer that you are the best among the several candidates.
4. Provide specific details about your skills and accomplishements by embelishing it with a few choice keywords. Use active action verbs. Choose between a chronological listing, a functional listing, or combined (chronological and fucntional) listing is appropriate in presenting the evidence of your skills and accomplishments. Chronological listing suggests a history of reliable and dependable employement service. Functional listings help to highlight the key expeiences or achievements, especially when there are gaos in the employment history.
5. Ordinarily, limit the number of pages to two. One page is better if written concisely with all the keywords included.