When you apply for a job, you usually are not alone. Depending on the particular position, there may be as few as two or three other applicants, or as many as several hundred. In many instances, there are far more candidates for the job opening than the manager wishes to interview. Therefore, he usually decides whom to interview based on the resumes that he receives.
However, if he has received many resumes, he may spend only a very short time in perusing each one. Any resume that is long, poorly organized, or difficult to follow may not be read completely. Consequently, the manager may not notice information that might have led him to invite the applicant to an interviewer.
Unfortunately, the applicant will have lost out. Further, because the manager may read the resumes in a group in order to better compare and rank applicants, he will instinctively evaluate the layouts and organization of material of the individual resumes and form favorable or unfavorable impressions.
Here are suggestions that will help you to prepare a resume that will quickly communicate what the decision maker must know:
- Use plain, bond paper. Avoid colored paper or special effects.
- Ensure that the resume is free of spelling mistakes or typographical errors. The layout must be clear and uncluttered and the photocopies should be black and without smudges or folds.
- Keep the resume short. One page is fine. Three pages are too many. If you have little work experience, don't pad it. If your experience is extensive, stick to the highlights.
- Identify yourself clearly. Type your name, address, and phone number across the top.
- State your employment objectives simply and without adornment. Avoid using, "I am searching for a challenging position ' It has been overused and, in any event, someone must do the unchallenging work.
- List languages spoken and languages written only if you are competent in two or more.
- State your education. List all degrees, area of specialization, universities, and graduation dates. Omit high school unless applying for your first job.
- List any special courses attended or job-related skills acquired.
- List any published works and membership in professional or trade associations.
- List employment experience beginning with the most recent position first. Include the employer's name, location, dates (years), job title, accomplishments, and promotions.
- Mail or deliver the resume unfolded in a brown business envelope. Always attach a covering letter.