A resume is not a simple summary of accomplishments. In order to write a winning resume, you must be aware that the document should be a flawless advertisement of oneself. Throughout the arduous task of a job search, a resume serves as ones primary personal sales tool. In a world where first impressions are half of the battle, a well done resume can serve as a powerful weapon. So, what should such an important component of the job search entail? After recently attending UCC How To: Write a Winning Resume at Villanova University, I know what it takes to make the best resume possible, and I strongly recommend attending a similar workshop in the future.
When sitting down to start writing a resume, it is important to not immediately dive into specific accomplishments. Sit back and try to look at life from a broader perspective. Ask yourself “what are my greatest strengths?”, a question that can be surprisingly difficult to answer. After deciding some of your best work-applicable attributes, find where you have proven these strengths. For example, if someone believes that they have strong leadership abilities, they may choose to highlight serving at a leadership position in a club. They may even decide to dedicate an entire section to leadership, which must be backed by multiple strong examples of leadership. Make a list of your various experiences, including jobs, awards, activities, or volunteering. This will serve as an important resource guide later on in the resume writing process.
Proper formatting of a resume is nearly as important as the actual content of the document. As previously mentioned, a resume is essentially an advertisement of yourself. At the How to Write a Winning Resume workshop, the phrase “Sell don’t tell” was emphasized. A resume should market yourself to your potential employers standards and qualifications, so all information must remain relevant. Do not simply list off accomplishments. To be as marketable as possible, the resume should be very presentable and aesthetically pleasing from a professional standpoint. This essentially means that it should be as simple yet as elegant as possible. Use a standard font with neat spacing. The goal is to make the resume easy to read, not to make it extravagant. Additionally, resumes need to be well organized; formatting must remain consistent, particularly with section headings. There are many different formatting styles, and resume templates can often help to maintain a consistent format. All formatting styles, however, have characteristics that must remain constant. One of these characteristics involves the organization of categories within a resume; experience within the section should be listed in reverse chronological order, from most recent to least.
I cannot possibly give all the information required to write the best possible resume. Although I am knowledgeable in this field, I am no expert and my experience with actual resumes is minimal. I strongly advise attending a How to Write a Winning Resume workshop so that you can obtain the maximum amount of knowledge.