By Karen B. Lee - April 02 2018 10:08:21
Your goal should be to write your resume with both robots and humans in mind. Many organizations use Applicant Tracking Systems to sort and vet resumes, before hiring managers ever take a look at them. This means that you could have the best experience and qualifications in a whole field of candidates, and a pretty decent resume besides, but your information will fall through the cracks if your resume doesn’t contain the right keywords. Good keywords will refer not only to your experience but to the job description in the posting as well.
An effective resume lays out a summary of qualifications that will push the hiring manager or employer to move forward and invite you to interview for the position. As well as details on skills, education, and work history, resumes can also have optional sections, such as an objective, summary statement, skills, or career highlights. Those sections can be added after you’ve compiled all the factual information you need to list on your resume. For many people, it can be helpful to sit down with a pen and paper, or a blank Word document, and jot down their work history from start to finish. Of course, if you have been in the workforce for many years, this is not going to be time-efficient, so you may choose to focus on your most prominent and relevant positions.
In addition, functional or combination resumes may also be useful if you are trying to draw the readers attention away from something – namely, large gaps in your work history or detours into unrelated fields.
No matter your approach, your goal will be to produce a chronological list of experience that is relevant to the jobs you’re applying to. Although this should focus on professional work experience, you can also include awards or accolades, volunteer or community experience, post-grad coursework, and skills, as well as your college education, which can move to the bottom of your resume once you get your first job after college.
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