Writing a resume is a difficult task partly because it is tedious. It essentially requires us to go back in time and try to recollect what we did. That’s the easy part, although not necessarily an enjoyable one. Once that is done, the next thing to do is to try to explain how our experience and qualifications will benefit a potential employer. Here’s where many people get stuck. We know what we did, but it is a real drag having to explain that to others. Where to start? What to say? How to say it? Where to put the emphasis? Where to stop?
There are no rigid formulas to resume writing. Our experiences all differ and we have to make them compelling the best we can. A good way to start is to look at resume samples on the Web and see the ones that catch our attention. Another way to approach resume writing is to purchase resume templates already formatted, so that at least half of the problem is resolved. You would be surprised how hard it is to format a decent resume and how much time you can waste trying to make your resume look good.
Once the background work is done, the next part is to go through many drafts of your resume and with each draft improve bits and pieces of it so that after a few drafts it starts to make sense. If you are wondering whether or not you are spending too much time or effort drafting your resume, let me tell you that it is not unusual to go through as many as 10 drafts, so don’t give up after 2 or 3. The more drafts you go through, the better your resume will become. Also, in addition to revisiting your resume many times, let your mind rest between each revision. You will be surprised how a little perspective will change your view on things.
Remember that you have to approach the resume, not from your perspective, but from the perspective of someone who knows nothing about you and is looking at many job applications. This is where you have to seek the input of your friends and family members. Let them take a look at your resume and listen to their feedback. Is your resume clear? Is it compelling?
Who would the employer pick… not for a job, but for an interview… is the question that you must ultimately answer when you review your resume. If and when you can affirm with conviction that you stand a good chance of getting an interview with your resume as drafted, then you know it is ready to go. Actually, that is the second mistake that many people make. They think that the resume is supposed to convince the employer to hire them. Wrong! The resume is only to convince them to allow you to advance to the next level, the face-to-face meeting.
With the above general guidelines in mind, good luck in drafting a resume that will serve as a stepping stone to land you your next job.
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