How to Start Writing a Resume: Avoid the Number One Resume Writing Mistake
The thought of writing a resume sends shivers down many people’s spines. Fortunately writing a resume does not have to be that difficult and yes, you can do it yourself without the help of a professional resume writer. However, you want to avoid the big mistake that most people make when starting to write a resume.
If you want to land a job interview you obviously must have a well-written resume. Unfortunately the thought of writing a resume sends shivers down many people's spines.
Personally, I do not know anyone who actually enjoys writing a resume. In fact, writing a resume is such a dreadful task that many people would rather hire someone to write the resume for them which can be quite costly.
Fortunately writing a resume does not have to be that difficult and yes, you can do it yourself without the help of a professional resume writer.
However, you want to avoid the big mistake that most people make when starting to write a resume.
What's the mistake?
The mistake most people make when writing a resume is that they do NOT create a resume that is job specific…in other words their resume is way too general. They try to take the easy way out by creating a generic resume that they can use for a number of different jobs…a one-size-fits-all resume.
This is a mistake. However, it is also good news for you. Since most of your competition will be writing generic resumes, you will have a much better chance of making your resume stand out by creating one that is specific for the job you want.
So how does one create a job-specific resume?
Easy…start by creating a few simple lists with pen and paper.
Here are the three lists you should create BEFORE you actually start writing a resume:
1. Before writing a resume make a list of all the requirements for the particular job you are seeking. That's right…you want to gear your resume to the specific job you are applying for. That means if you are applying for several different jobs you will be making several different resumes.
2. Make a list of any and all RELATED experience. Unrelated experience is not necessary to put in your resume and can actually be a distraction so make sure your list is exclusive to related experience. This includes internships, volunteer positions, leadership activities, and, of course, paid work experience.
3. Make a list of your own personal strengths. Keep in mind that employer's value qualities like teamwork, leadership, and good communication skills. These are the skills you should bring to light in your resume.
Once you have created your lists of the job requirements, your related experience, and your own personal strengths you can then create a brief, but powerful, description of each piece of related experience mentioned in list #2.
In each description try to match your own personal strengths with the requirements for the job. Basically you are combining your three lists into short and powerful statements. For example, "Kitchen Manager: Effectively used communication skills to manage a 7-person kitchen staff for upscale Italian Restaurant"
Once you have these well-crafted descriptions you can go ahead and start plugging in each description in separate sections under suitable headings, such as objective, education, experience, skills, extra curricular activities, and references.
This is where you can use a resume template to help guide you.
Fortunately for you most people writing a resume will not take the time to properly prepare their descriptions. By creating a list of all your strengths and experiences that specifically match the requirements for the job you are seeking it will be much easier for you to create a resume that is targeted for a specific job…a resume that will clearly stand out amongst all the other resumes.
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