Monday, 25 July 2011

Step 1: Get Your Resume In Order

Oh, the resume. I’m sure we all had to make one in school…and I’m sure we all bullshitted about what we wrote too. Unfortunately, it’s time to make a real one. It’s not exactly the most exciting thing, but it’s pretty straight forward, just follow this template...This is a lengthy post, so bear with me!

1. Basic Information
The most important thing, of course! For now, just list a couple of things:
-Full Name
-Full Address
-Email address (use your business address if you have one!)
-Phone number (Include home and mobile, or primary/secondary if you wish)

2. Objective
If you watch resume videos, some “experts” are saying that you should simply leave out the objective section. Well, it’s up to you. I personally like them, and I’ll explain to you why..

-Most simply, they explain that you have something to offer the company, and something to gain from the company. However, if you’re applying for the job, this is expected. That’s probably why a lot of employers are saying just avoid writing an objective. But if done properly, they can really make you look motivated! More importantly though, objectives are…

-Precise. Through an objective, you can tell your employer exactly what kind of position you’re looking for. Employers really don’t like when applicants say that they’re interested in “any position”, because it doesn’t make the applicant look determined since they don’t even know what they’re after, and employers don’t have the time to see just where you might fit in. Get your point across in your objective. If you’re looking to be part of the marketing team, then say it. If you’re looking for an apprenticeship position, then say it! It’ll save both you and your employer some time and effort.

An objective is traditional to include, but if you decide not to include it, just ensure that the rest of your application shows your motivation and dedication, and address the position you are applying for in your cover letter. Remember that your objective should only be about one sentence. Keep it short and get your point across quickly!

3. Core Strengths
You’re trying to prove that you’re a valuable member, so focus on a couple of your best qualities. Please don’t go listing everything you’re good at (anyways, it’s expected that you’re punctual, respectful, and hardworking). Instead, choose just a few of your best qualities (I usually pick 3), and write a quick sentence or two about each explaining:

i. What the quality is
ii. Why it is significant

That’s it! Keep it short! One sentence for each!

4. Experience
Quickly list all the significant experience that you have. Please don’t include things that are completely irrelevant or insignificant. I know some people in high school who have resumes that are pages long, but they’re littered with stupid things that they did in elementary school. It’s time to move on, people! Once you have those things listed, you can separate them into two categories before you begin to write about each experience:

i. Professional Experience
ii. Volunteer Experience

Now, for each experience, begin by writing out a few basic things:
Company/Event Name
Your Role
Time Involved (usually just use years)
Then you can go on to give a brief description of:
-What your duties were and why they were significant
-What skills you learned
-Any qualities that were stressed and developed
Keep it short and get right to the point! Don’t write about something unless it is significant, but don’t go on and on about why it is significant. Also, avoid writing with “I..” statements (e.g. I was in charge of cleaning tables. I pleased customers. becomes Duties included cleaning tables. Personable qualities were stressed in interacting with customers.) I would typically encourage putting this in order of importance, rather than chronological, but it’s up to you to decide what fits your needs best.

5. Education
This part is pretty straight forward. List each significant school you’ve attended, and for each one, simply write:
-The name of the school
-What years you attended it
-Any special programs you were in
-Any note-worthy achievements
You can list your education in chronological order, which also usually acts as order of importance. Hurrah!

6. Activities
This part is completely optional. If you have lots of experience, just skip this. However, including a brief outline of your personal interests may be useful if you’re applying for one of your first jobs, or at some sort of specialty shop (e.g. if you’re applying to a crafts store, they need to know that you’re crafty!). This can make a resume very honest and personal, but it can also be a huge waste of space…so don’t blow it! All you need to do here is describe:
i. What a few of your most significant activities are
ii. Any skills that you learned from doing this
iii. If they reflect certain qualities of yours, or your nature (e.g. creativity, hands-on nature)

7. Addition Skills
This part is so relieving: it’s such a simple section and signifies that you’re almost done writing that dreaded resume! Here, you should include any other outstanding skills that have not yet been mentioned. Here are a few examples…

i. Do you have any specialty training? (e.g. CPR training)
ii. Language abilities? (Bilingual, working proficiency)
iii. Additional courses taken
iv. Awards or achievements received

8. Format
So far, all I asked you to do was list some things down, so it’s probably not looking so pretty. But it’s finally time to format it!
-Put your contact info at the top of the page.
-Keep it simple, black and white
-Since you’ll only be using black writing, make use of bold, italics, and CAPITALS to separate or emphasize information

9. Review it
You’re just about done! But make sure you look over your resume a million times. Make sure every word has been used to sell yourself, ask a friend to look over it, and even ask if you can see a friend’s for inspiration.

In the end, make sure your resume is something you are proud of and is a true reflection of yourself!

Alright I know that was long, but I warned you! Remember Step 2 is coming up tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. lol grade 10 careers class was a joke, you should teach the course instead.