How To

The importance of a resume and how to get started… to get noticed.

Studies show that the average hiring manager spends approximately 20 seconds looking at your resume. Facts say 10 seconds. The truth is, you have minimal chance to get noticed and get the interview if your resume doesn’t stand out from the crowd.

In the past five years resumes have changed dramatically thanks to the Internet. The electronic resume, one of the newest resume upgrades, has changed the application process and resume writing as a whole. An effective resume in this decade must be written with scannable keywords in mind, as it is commonly scanned into a job board or publication database where thousands of potential employers can view it and then download it. The response the candidate receives from their resume writing is no longer assumed to be a phone call – it may in fact be an e-mail.

If the candidate is applying online she or he is often able to upload the resume she’s writing in a word processing format such as Word, or cut and past it to the online application. There are even templates the allow job candidates to write their resumes from scratch right on the site.

Keep in mind, as you are writing your resume, that the simplest and most common format for saving a resume file is with the help of a word processor like Microsoft Word or Open Office. These software will capture the various bolds and fonts, as well as italics and indentations.

Resume writing, though in a very different version than is now used, came into being around the 1930’s. Prior to that, candidates filled out an Application for Position that most resembled the curriculum vitae used by professionals today and in Europe. It was used in conjunction with a cover letter, with work experience noted in chronological order. It also included much personal biography. In the 1930’s the theory from hiring professionals and educators was that applicants should not look conceited by bragging about their accomplishments.

Up until the late 1940’s a resume was expected to include your age, your weight, your height and your parents country of origin. You were also to include a photo of yourself in professional attire such as a suit.

It wasn’t until the 1980’s, however, that books and periodicals really started to talk about resume writing. Now there is a lot of advice out there in print and on the Web, not only about resume writing but resume writing specific to your situation or industry.

Competition is fierce and resume writing has changed. You don’t need “resumes” anymore but “Attention Grabbing Resumes”. This is the only way for you to get noticed and get the interview, fast, without sending hundreds and thousands of resumes throughout the country.

You must assume as you write and design your resume, that it will be scanned as well as manually read. For this reason your layout should be clear, without lines or borders, with large top, bottom, left and right margins, on white or off white paper and your name and contact information should be centered at the top of the resume. Further keeping in mind the current electronic processing of resumes, you should be always cognizant of keyword search, making sure that your resume is replete with the skill words that are required for the job. That’s the first step.