How to Write a Résumé Like a Seasoned Pro
Writing a résumé is not that different from writing a sales pitch: the writer is the product and the reader is the potential customer. The résumé has to grab the attention of the prospective employer. It needs to showcase why and how the applicant would be a valuable asset to the employer. In the best case scenario, a well-written résumé prompts the employer to pick up the phone and call the applicant immediately. So why not aim to impress and learn how to write a résumé like a seasoned pro?
Why You Need More Than One Résumé
The most important thing to remember about writing a résumé is that you should write a separate résumé for each job you apply for. Each résumé should be tailored to the specific position you’re applying for, the requirements you need to meet, the type of company you want to work for, and so on. If you’re wondering how it’s possible to write different résumés based on the same core information, hang on for a bit. We’ll cover that shortly.
Open With a Bang!
Your résumé should start with an opening statement, and you should write it as if it will be the only thing on your résumé that the employer will read. It has to be a strong statement, and it shouldn’t be too long. Bring together all of your previous experiences that make you a good candidate, and state them in a clear, matter-of-fact manner. You shouldn’t brag excessively in the statement, but it should state how different facets of your work, educational, or personal experience would benefit your potential employer.
Learn About the Inverted Pyramid
The inverted pyramid is a common way of organizing information, especially in journalism. In a news article, the most newsworthy information goes first, followed by important details, with background and less important information at the end of the article. You should organize your résumé in the same way. The most important part of the résumé is your opening statement (because it’s at the top). All the other sections that are included in a résumé—education, employment history, key skills, and personal attributes—should be arranged so that those most important for the position you’re applying for go at the top. Remember, you should write your résumé so that the person reading it takes as little time as possible to pick up the phone to call you.
Check, Double-Check, and Check Again
The importance of not making any errors, be they spelling or factual, cannot be overstated. But while you’re at it, you should check for important keywords for your job and see whether you’ve included them in your résumé. Some employers use software to scan applications and résumés for these keywords, and you don’t want to miss out on a job just because you failed to include a couple of important words. You should also make sure the contact information for the people you’ve listed as references is accurate. If you have any images or tables in your résumé, remember to delete them; they may not display correctly on the employer’s computer. And whatever you do, do not forget to include your contact information at the very beginning of the résumé.