Resume Writing Tips

Resumes are like a road sign, you only have seconds to attract attention before they move past it to the next one.

A resume is your primary marketing tool used to get an interview, not a job.

A resume provides information regarding your:

skills

education

work history

achievements

interests

10 Most Common Resume Writing Mistakes

 1.   Too Long – Preferred length is one to two pages
 2.   Disorganized – Information is scattered throughout and not grouped into categories
 3.   Poor Presentation – poorly typed, hard to read
 4.   Over Written – too long/wordy, paragraph-style
 5.   Too Sparse – only bare essentials of the information such as dates and job titles
 6.   Spelling & Grammatical errors
 7.   Trying too Hard to Impress – Using fancy paper, fonts, photographs etc.
 8.   Not Results Oriented enough – lack of accomplishments or progress in position.
 9.   Too Many Irrelevancies – Age, height, weight, marital status, gender, sexual orientation and religion
10.   Misdirected Resumes – they end up on the desks of people who are not involved in the selection process. 
       Make sure the resume is going to the proper individual or it will be filed in the trash.

What Your Resume Should Cover

Job Objective – tells the employer what job you are seeking and where you might fit into the company.  An objective can be replaced by a cover letter.

Highlights of Qualifications – short, attention-grabbing statements that describe a person’s skills and qualities that would be beneficial to a given company.

(ie.  Over 5 years of progressive experience as a physical education professional)

Work History/Relevant Skills & Experience – listing of previous job duties, special achievements and work-related contributions

Education & Training include any relevant education, training, and certificates you have completed.  If you are currently enrolled in a training program, list it with the anticipated time of completion

Interests/Accomplishments include personal interests or activities that show you are well-rounded.  Do not mention interests that reveal religious affiliation

Volunteer Experience list any you may have because it shows you have an eagerness to work.

What is a cover letter?

  • A cover letter dresses your resume
  • Answers any questions the employer may have
  • A tool to market yourself
  • Your cover letter shows your personality
  • Your cover letter gets you in the “short list”
  • By doing a cover letter you are going the extra mile

Keep it simple!

What’s in a cover letter?

  • Find out the correct address for the company
  • The person’s name that reviews the applications
  • Use the three paragraph model
  • Do not give reasons for leaving your last job
  • Do not forget to sign the cover letter
  • Remember to print an extra copy before you give it to an employer
  • Include the Employer Address and date
  • Introduction/Address
  • Paragraph 1: Identify the job, who referred you or how you found out about it
  • Paragraph 2: Market yourself-prove why you care about the job and why you are the right fit
  • Paragraph 3: Close the letter and tell them how to contact you
  • Closing
  • Signature

Always follow up with employers to ensure they have received your resume.  This is your opportunity to prepare your “elevator speech”.  This is a 30-second commercial about yourself and the skills you have to offer that employer.

What you need to know about Surviving and Succeeding in an interview…..

In a nutshell!

  • Your chance to show your personality
  • An opportunity to learn more about the employer
  • Decide if you want to work at that company
  • Find out as much about the company as you can – use books, people you know, the Internet
  • Make sure you know where the interview is and how to get there
  • Decide what you are going to wear (clean, in good shape clothing, ironing if needed)
  • If you can tell 5-6 good stories you are prepared for most interview questions
  • Stories to Prepare:
    • Teamwork
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Problem Solving
    • Something you are really proud of
  • Smile
  • RELAX
  • Listen carefully to the questions and for clues
  • Give complete answers
  • Maintain good eye contact
  • Be as confident as you can
  • Do Not
    • Arrive late
    • Chew gum
    • Wear a hat or sunglasses
    • Smoke right before the interview
    • Wear inappropriate clothing
    • Take someone with you to the interview
    • Give yes/no answers

Always follow up with employers to thank them for taking the time to interview you. First impressions are everything!  Whether in person, or on the phone, you have a limited amount of time to sell yourself to a potential employer…. and remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression!