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Friday, October 26, 2007
How to Write a Resume That Stands Out From The Crowd
How to Write a Resume That Stands Out From The Crowd
by: Rumki Sen

Today’s job market is competitive. Many companies receive hundreds of resumes a year, making it difficult for yours to stand out from the crowd. However, that should not keep you from getting interviews. The following 10 tips will help you learn how to get employers to read your resume and get your phone ringing.

1. Include a profile

Begin your resume with a profile, which contains a synopsis of your varied skills and educational qualifications. This profile should match the particular job you want to apply for. State your career objective clearly so that the reader gets an overall idea of your background and areas of expertise. Write this section in such a manner that it immediately catches the attention of a hiring manager, and he calls you instead of someone else.

2. Keep the resume short

No one has the time to go through elaborate detailing about your past jobs and experiences. Therefore, keep the resume short. Make a list of the most important jobs you have held and give a brief of your previous job-oriented experiences. However, in the case of technical people, resumes can extend to three pages in order to include relevant technical information.

3. Give more importance on content than on looks

One of the major mistakes people make while creating resumes is in the use of fancy fonts. Avoid using fancy fonts and do not change font regularly throughout the resume. Changing fonts regularly will distract and confuse a hiring manager. Do not use underlining or italics to add emphasis. Make your document eye appealing so that your reader can review it with ease. Use white paper and make the thoughts flow smoothly.

4. Clearly identify your skills

Do not be modest in mentioning your skills. Clearly identifying your skills will distinguish you from the other job seekers and eventually help your potential employers to select you from the rest. Remember, all you have to do is to stand out from the crowd.

5. List your educational and professional qualifications

Include any relevant education or training that might relate. Provide details of only those qualifications that match your current job search. This will help you to get short-listed more easily.

6. Focus on your job responsibilities

Starting with your present position or most recent job, mention the title of every job you have held, along with the name of the company, the city and state, and the years you have worked there. Under each position, make a list of your job responsibilities. Use descriptive verbs, such as created, increased, performed, initiated, developed, led, improved or reduced to begin each statement of your duties and accomplishments. Producing a document that is well presented, detailed and targeted will attract the attention of your hiring manager.

7. Add related qualifications and interests

Think about anything else that might qualify you for your job objective and place it at the bottom of your resume. It may include licenses, certifications, awards and achievements, and sometimes even your hobbies and interests if they truly relate. If you seek a job in a music company, for example, stating on your resume that you are a pianist will increase your chance to get that interview call.

8. Be honest with your resume

If you did not actually do what you said you did, it would be called a lie. Numerous surveys show that job applicants lie most frequently about education and employment, particularly about job responsibilities and dates of employment. Hiding gaps in employment and jobs where they were forced to leave by the respective employers is also common. There are many risks involved in lying, but many job applicants do not seem to get the message about the risks of lying. Once you are caught with a lie, you will be fired then and there. So, DON”T lie – be honest with your resume.

9. Always attach a covering letter

A cover letter is a letter of introduction that highlights your key achievements and skills and entitles you for a job opening. It reflects your communication skills and your personality. The main purpose of this document is to introduce yourself in such an interesting manner that the reader will not only continue reading your resume but also be willing to call you for an interview.

If you want to create cover letters for any career situation, position, and job level, I recommend a unique resume/ cover letter tool on the Internet today called Amazing Cover Letter Creator (http://pes2004.amazingcl.hop.clickbank.net). I recommend this tool, because it solves the frustrating problem job seekers have when trying to write an effective resume cover letter. You can use it over and over again for all your cover letter needs.

10. Proofread your resume

After you have finalized your employment documents, check them repeatedly for errors in spelling, grammar, or punctuation. Spelling and grammatical errors can automatically disqualify a resume from consideration. If you make mistakes on your employment documents, hiring managers might presume you will be equally careless on the job - no matter how important your qualifications and experiences are. Proofread your resume and cover letter carefully.

Make your resume positive and completely error-free. If you are seeking two or three different positions, prepare two or three separate resumes, each tailored to the job you are targeting. Make your resume exclusive and unique so that it stands out from the crowd. Good luck for your career!

About The Author


Rumki Sen is the founder of Perfect Editing Solutions http://www.perfectediting.com, a professional firm providing Resume Writing, Proofreading and Copyediting services. Get your resume and cover letter prepared or edited at highly affordable prices by her company’s resume writing services. Submit your information online and receive your perfect resume and cover letter within 2-3 days. Contact Rumki Sen at rumki@perfectediting.com. Visit her blog at http://wordshavepower.blogspot.com.

rumki@perfectediting.com

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posted by Beebee @ 6:56 PM  
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Forget About "Talent"!
Forget About "Talent"!
by: Steven Barnes

How is a writer to access her deepest and most powerful wells of creativity? How do we tap into our talent, our genius, our greatest potential for success? Writing classes often tell us how to plot, or structure, or build characters, or create poetic images, but the question of accessing our excellence is a slippery and elusive one. It is possible we’ll need to go outside our usual sources to find an answer.

Many will merely say “be born with talent,” coldly suggesting that writers are “born” with a particular amount of potential, and that one either has this or not. And you know? There is a certain amount of truth to this. It is hard to argue with the idea that geniuses like Mozart or Shakespeare were gifted. But the nature versus nurture argument is both fascinating and, for the average person, irrelevant. After all, since we can’t go back and choose our grandparents, what are we to do? Just abandon our dreams of excellence if we don’t happen to be one of the gifted few?

I often say something to students that is both deadly serious and a slight (and deliberate) exaggeration. It is this “I don’t believe in talent. Every time I’ve ever gotten close to an excellent performer in any discipline, all I’ve seen is a lifetime of hard, honest work.”

Why would I say something like this? Because it is the way I truly feel. The fact is that I’ve seen endless people fail due to lack of honest work. And given those years or decades of work, I’ve seen few fail for lack of talent.

The truth is that if “talent” exists, it seems to be the capacity for long, concentrated periods of tunnel-vision focus, combined with a unique capacity for digging into themselves to find truths most of us are reluctant to reveal. These phenomenal men and women sacrifice outside interests, relationships, and sometimes their health and sanity to focus on their divine obsession. And yes, if you find a group of these people, some will rise higher than others. But the primary gift of art is to be able to spend your life in the act of creation. And to do that, you don’t need to be “the best” (whatever THAT means). All you need to do is to get into the top twenty percent in your field, and you’ll do just fine.

And that is achievable with focus and honesty. But what exactly do I mean by that?

FOCUS

1) Can you write 500 words a day for twenty years?

2) Can you concentrate for an hour at a time without stopping for coffee, phone calls, or bathroom breaks?

3) Can you shut out the voices of doubt and failure? Then you have a chance. In my own life, writing was simply my only career goal. I would rather have failed as a writer than succeeded at anything else. I was willing to do ANYTHING ethical and healthy to reach that goal, and every single day I asked myself new questions about how I could do it, who I could ask, what I could read, what classes I might attend. Willingness to postpone gratification is essential, because your efforts simply won’t pay off rapidly unless you are in that incredibly lucky fraction of a percent. And there is good news: even if you believe in “talent,” in the real world, an absolutely driven “B” or “C” student will outperform a lazy “A” student almost every time.

HONESTY. This is where the rubber meets the road, the diamond path to excellence.

1) What is your actual current skill level? What is the skill level necessary to make it in your chosen field? Make no mistake: writing is one of the most competitive fields in the world. EVERYONE thinks they can write, and to a degree, they are correct. If you’re going to make your mark, you will have to bring everything you’ve got.

2) Who has the resources you need to bridge the gap between your current and desired skill levels? Remember that they have probably spent a lifetime gathering their knowledge. What can you offer them (that is ethical and healthy for you) to gain their help and support?

3) What do you fear most? Love most? What angers you most? Makes you laugh? Your ability to create memorable characters will be based on the depths of your self-understanding, and capacity to accurately observe the human condition. If you can dig deeply enough, you’ll find an incredible wealth of subject matter, more than enough to last a lifetime. But you must be honest. When writing to stimulate an emotion in your audience, first write to trigger that feeling in yourself. Write for yourself, or for an audience you respect.

4) What is your best effort? There is a great scene in “Walk The Line” where a music producer tells Johnny Cash to imagine he is dying in the street. He has one last song to sing to sum up the totality of his existence. What would that song be? Questions like this cut through the b.s. Don’t try to be clever. Just tell the truth.

5) What do you actually believe human beings are? At the core of us, under all of the ugly and pretty. What are we? How do you explain the differences and conflicts between human beings: black and white, gay and straight, male and female. What do you think love is? What causes war? Why do we dream? Your own unique answers to these questions will point you toward your personal “voice.”

6) What is the nature of the universe? Of God? Is there anything out there? Are we alone? While it is possible to write stories and screenplays from a variety of philosophical positions, the writer who knows herself and has a position on the nature of life will outperform a “brilliant” writer who has nothing to say. Dig deep.

These two aspects, (1) hard work, and (2) honesty, will keep you busy for a lifetime, and take you to the very edge of your potential as a writer. And after all, if you haven’t used up all the potential you were given at birth, it hardly makes sense to complain that you didn’t get more!

About The Author


Steven Barnes has published over three million words of fiction, and been nominated for Hugo, Nebula, and Cable Ace awards. He is the writer of the Emmy-winning "A Stitch In Time" episode of the Outer Limits. Sign up for a FREE Lifewriting™ tip at: http://www.lifewriting.biz.

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posted by Beebee @ 4:23 PM  
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