A Professional Resume Writer’s Guide to a Targeted and Organized Resume

resume dream jobThere are three different types of jobs that seekers will apply to: safety, target and dream jobs.  Safety jobs are ones that are perfect for when you are in a pinch or bind that you know you can take on if need be, such as when you are unemployed.  Target jobs are ones which may satisfy your salary requirements and needs (insurance, benefits and vacation time) at that particular time in your life. Then there is your dream job: a company you’ve always desired to work for, or a position you’ve had your eyes on since you began your career.

If you are getting interviews for safety jobs only, it’s time to turn to a certified professional resume writer who can craft your resume with direction, organization and your career goals in mind.

Think about it this way: Writing is both a skill and an art.  Resume writing is technical, daunting and not to mention, very stressful. Many find it hard to write about themselves or target their resume in a specific industry.

Organization, Style and Layout

Myth: Your resume should only be one page. Answer: False. Sometimes you have several degrees, several industries or multiple licenses and certifications that simply can’t fit on one page.  Your resume can be one, two or even three pages in today’s times. In law school, my research and writing professor had a saying: “Simplicity, clarity and brevity.” That’s the same goal for your resume. Something that is clean, concise and succinct.

How do you organize your resume? For one, don’t have an “Objective” at the beginning of your resume. It’s common sense. Your objective is to find a job. Instead, use an executive summary followed by your experience, education, license and certifications, and volunteer or civic involvement.

What style of resume do you use? There are three different styles: chronological, hybrid and functional.

Focus, Strategy and Direction

Look at the job qualifications/requirements for the position you are applying to. Then, look at your resume.  Does your resume emphasize skills required of you in that industry or sector and match the position’s requirements?  Does your resume include positions that have no correlation to your current career path? How much is too much information and detail?

Fact: Your resume is a summary of your experience.  Your resume does not need to include every job you have ever had.  If you worked somewhere for a few weeks or a couple of months and it bears no relation to your current abilities or your targeted industry, do not include it in your resume.

Four or five bullet points is enough for each job detail. If you have 8-10 bullet points per job, ask yourself:  is that job task identifying a result or accomplishment?  For example, when you’re an administrative assistant, everyone knows you answer phones, perform data entry and organize files. Perhaps you created a new filing system that resulted in an influx of 20% in closed files for a quarter. State that in your resume. Give your resume direction with a specific result. Numbers and statistics are great examples of this. Additionally, brand your resume with industry specific keywords.

Syntax and Proofreading

Sentence structure, word order, subject verb agreement, verb tenses, spelling and punctuation placement are just as important as the organization and details in your resume. One spelling error and your resume is tossed in the trash. It doesn’t matter if you graduated in the top 10% of your graduate school class. Don’t ask your friend to proofread your resume. Ask someone who commands both knowledge and expertise in grammar and the English language.

Taking these tips into consideration, your resume will be stronger and more effective.  When choosing a professional to help with your resume, look to the writer’s credentials and his/her career background. Does he/she have expertise in professional writing? Does he/she have a strong command of the English language as well as grammar? Does he/she have testimonials and reviews?

Remember, investing few hundred dollars into having your resume professionally written can bring about a better job, better salary and better long term career goals.