Past Issues

March 15, 2010

Crafting Your Professional Resume

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Crafting Your Professional Resume

By Kevin Donlin

"I want to apply for different kinds of jobs," asks Kelly from Minneapolis. "Can I write just one resume with enough flexibility for that, or do I need several resumes?"

You need several resumes, because you can't be all things to all employers.

But it's easier than you think to modify your resume and apply for a variety of jobs.

Here's how ...

Step 1: Change Your Opening
The best way to start your resume is with a clear objective or summary statement, one that quickly tells the reader exactly what you can do.

Of these two choices, an objective with a job title is the better way to begin. It shows that you know exactly what job the employer wants to fill. Example:

Restaurant Manager where more than 10 years of food service and management experience will add value.

If you don't know the job title, you can start your resume with a summary that focuses on your relevant skills. This gives you more flexibility to apply for different jobs. Example:

Seeking a position where more than 12 years of sales, management and operations experience will add value.

Step 2: Change Your Order
You can change the focus of your resume simply by presenting your qualifications in a different order.

Example: If your degree is in marketing and you're applying for a marketing job, but your recent experience is in customer service, put your degree ahead of that less-relevant experience.

Your resume is not about your past. It's about your future. Tell employers what you can do, then prove your claims with specific achievements. If you have the training, skills and expertise to succeed, don't bury them in your resume. Put them near the top, where they'll get noticed!

Step 3: Change Your Cover Letter
Unless you're hand-delivering your resume, send a cover letter. And your cover letter is the best place to address employers individually and convince them that you're perfect for the job.

To really get attention, consider including a statement like this: "I've developed methods, which I can share with you, to _________." Insert your biggest accomplishment in that blank ("double sales in 90 days," for example) and the phone should start to ring.

If you're still not getting the interviews, your current resume may be the reason. Consider getting your resume critiqued by a professional resume writer for free to help you take your job search efforts to the next level.

The methods mentioned above will help you with your job search efforts and land more interviews. Just be absolutely sure to follow up with every employer you apply to and interview with -- finding a job is a full-time job!

Kevin Donlin is President of Guarantee.d Resumes. He is also author of "Resume and Cover Letter Secrets Revealed," a do-it-yourself manual that will help you find a job in 30 days...or your money back. For more information, follow this link.

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