Whether you’re just entering the workforce for the first time, are between jobs, or are currently working full time but looking for another position, chances are you may need a resume for a successful job search. It’s surprising how many otherwise savvy job seekers have little understanding of the role a resume plays in job search and of how to prepare an effective one.
It’s important to understand that a resume usually has one, and only one, purpose – to land you an interview. It’s not simply a history of your education and work, and definitely not some kind of artistic or personal statement. The whole idea of a resume is to get through a prospective employer’s first culling and persuade them to call you in for the rest of the selection process. Obviously it’s going to include information about your education and work history, among other things, but it goes much further than that. As it’s often said in marketing “sell the sizzle, not the steak.” Your resume is an opportunity to very quickly convince a prospective employer that they ought to consider hiring you because of the benefits to them of doing so.
There are many downloadable resume templates available on the web, and scores of sites with resume generators where you simply enter the relevant data and the site rolls it into a resume. Although some of these tools will produce an adequate document, in a highly competitive market it might not be enough to make it to the top of the stack.
Many people are turning to professional resume writers to give them an edge. Someone that specializes in the process of packaging information in a way that appeals to employers is often more likely to see strengths and weaknesses in your resume information than you may be, and can help you put together an attractive, professional looking document that makes your best case to that prospective employer.
If you’re going to hire a professional, it’s important to take a look at their background, past work, and track record. Certification by The National Resume Writers’ Association is a plus.
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