Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Finding the Perfect Job: The Right Resume

We are continuing our series of articles with useful tips and information to help you hunt for the perfect job. Previously, we posted on
how to determine your perfect job and how to write a killer cover letter. This week, we look at how to write a great resume. This information is also available in The Job Seeker Survival Guide, a free publication from The Employment Guide®. Check back here each week for more tips on finding the "Perfect Job." You can also pick up a copy of the The Job Seeker Survival Guide at our next Job Fair scheduled for February 20, 2007 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte.

The Right Resume!

Your resume provides a snapshot of who you are to potential employer. Along with your cover letter, it is their first impression of you. In a competitive job market, it must stand out from those of other applicants. To ensure you have the right resume, let's start at the top.

Here's what your resume should include...

1. Include pertinent contact information

  • Resumes should start with your full name, address, phone number(s), and Email address, if you have one.
  • You should always use a font of 10-12 for your text. Choose an easy-to-read font style such as Arial or Verdana (Sans Serif).
  • Microsoft Word offers resume templates. To access, go to "file" and click on "new." Then you will see a series of tabs. Click on "other documents." You will see several different templates listed. Open the one that you prefer and fill in your personal information. For a more customized resume, click on "resume wizard," and it will walk you through step-by-step how to create the resume of your dreams!

      Sally Smith
      12345 Any Street Drive
      Some City, ST 98765
      (222) 333-4444 Home
      (555) 666-7777 Work
2. State your objective

  • The objective should be one sentence only.
  • State the job you are seeking and what you hope to accomplish long term.

      To secure a challenging position in a growing company where I can utilize my sales and customer service skills.

3. Highlight your skills
  • Showcase any foreign languages you speak, computer and/or software skills you have, and any other technical or skilled trade certifications you hold.

      Strong written and verbal communication skills, computer literate, and experienced in Microsoft Office software products.

4. List your work experience
  • List in reverse chronological order the names and locations of employers, dates of employment, job titles held, description of job responsibilities, skills demonstrated, and accomplishments while on the job. It's only necessary to go back ten years in listing your work experience.
  • Be concise - use short, bulleted phrases (complete sentences are not necessary.) State your contributions to the company, not just duties.
  • Use action verbs and industry buzz words to enhance the body of your resume.

5. Catalogue your education

  • List schools attended, degrees, grade point averages, and honors. Note that it's not necessary to list years attended or dates of degrees.

"Red Flags" to Avoid in your Resume

Employers who review cover letters and resumes are trained to look for certain "red flags." Depending on the employer, these "red flags" might disqualify you immediately from the hiring process. Other employers may just make a mental note of their concerns and address them with you in the interview. Either way, the fewer "red flags" on your cover letter and resume the better the chance you have of landing your dream job!

Resume "Red Flags" and How to Avoid

  • Overall messy appearance. Make sure your resume is typed on resume-quality paper and proofread carefully.
  • Spelling Errors. Use Spell Check and have a friend edit.
  • Grammatical Errors. Use Grammar Check and have a friend edit.
  • No employment dates listed. Always include accurate employment dates.
  • Gaps in employment dates. Try to avoid gaps. If you've taken time off for personal reasons, school or travel, list it under a section titled Additional Experience or make a notation in the resume that allows for continuity.
  • Overlaps in employment dates. Explain overlaps in cover letter.
  • Too much information. For recent college graduates and entry-level positions, keep your resume to one page. For everyone else, keep your resume to a maximum of two pages.
  • Too little information. Include where you worked, dates of employment, job titles, job responsibilities, and accomplishments for each position held. If you are applying for your first position, highlight areas of study in school, extracurricular activities, volunteer work and hobbies/intrests, so the interviewer can get a sense of who you are.

To find that perfect job, pick up a copy of this week's edition of The Employment Guide at locations all over the Charlotte area, including all Petro Express stores, or go online at

For more information about The Employment Guide call us at 704-676-0051 or 877-676-0051.

Still have questions? Want to add something? Leave us a comment!


resume wirting said...

great tips for writing a resume. Make sure to polish up your Resume according to job application, there is no universal resume.

Check out for certified professional templates and Europass CV in English, French and Spanish

Anonymous said...

A few tips for Cover Letters and Resumes can be found also here:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

or here:
Resume and Cover letters