Whether you're a Vice President of Marketing or a recent college grad, your RESUME is the key to opening the doors of employment. It is an employer's first impression of you and believe it or not, many hiring officials spend less than thirty seconds reviewing it. With only fleeting moments to make a first IMPRESSION, it is imperative that your resume be organized. Polish your shoes, practice your handshake, and take note of some tips for creating an organized resume that will catch the eye of even the most weary of Human Resource associates.
BREVITY ALWAYS PAYS
Start by sitting down with your old resume and a timer. Give yourself fifteen seconds to read it. How far did you get? Were you able to read the whole page? Besides getting your foot in the door, your goal is to create a resume that can be SCANNED top to bottom in less than 30 seconds. Next, give yourself another fifteen seconds but this time skim your resume as if you were the person doing the hiring. What parts stood out? Was it a bold or italic phrase? Was it a tabbed column of words or a dollar sign? Think about what words or sections JUMPED OUT at you, circle them in red, and use them within the body of your new resume. For another opinion, take a fresh copy and ask a friend or family member to do the same.
YOUR WORK HISTORY
Your resume must be organized to punctuate your strengths and highlight your employment-related ACHIEVEMENTS. On scrap paper, create a chart and write all of your past jobs across the top of the page. Below each job title list at least 2-4 duties or accomplishments relating to the position. Analyze each of those and ask yourself: Does this achievement have any RELEVANCE to the job I'm now pursuing? Will the reader of my resume be impressed by the money I've saved the company / the body of work I created / the skills I've acquired?
PUTTING IT ALL IN ORDER
The next step is to PRIORITIZE those duties or accomplishments. For example, let's say you are an administrative assistant listing relevant duties and achievements from your last job. This is your newly-brainstormed, non-prioritized list:
USE BULLETED LISTS
As opposed to a sea of text, a bulleted list FOCUSES the eye to a specific area on the page. They are often used to highlight your accomplishments instead of hiding them within bulky paragraphs.
Example: Saved Sales department $12,000 by researching companies and switching office supply vendors. Created and color-coded filing system to support VP of Sales. Coordinated supervisor's travel arrangements. Answered phone calls.
THE PROOF IS IN THE PROOFREADING
Do not make 100 copies of your resume until at least one other person has reviewed it for ERRORS and inconsistencies. Five minutes of editorial prevention can mean the difference between getting an interview or getting a rejection letter.
MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION
To an HR official, an organized resume can be interpreted as the sign of an organized person. An organized person has the potential to have an organized desktop, organized file cabinets, and organized work habits. These are SKILLS and qualities that employers desire in an employee. If you can present a company/organization with an organized resume it will put you one step ahead of your less organized competition.
Stacey Agin Murray is a professional organizer and the owner of Organized Artistry, LLC. She transforms mess into masterpiece with patience, organizing know-how, and a sense of humor. Her booklet "7 Steps To An Organized Wedding Thank You Note" is available directly through www.OnlineOrganizing.com. You may visit her web site at http://www.organizedartistry.com.
Would you like to reprint this article in your publication -- or distribute it to a wider audience? Click here for reprinting instructions.
Want to receive these kind of articles via e-mail each month? Sign up for a free newsletter subscription.
Click here to return to "Get Organized" -- February 2004...
www.OnlineOrganizing.com is a service mark of Bradford, LLC.
To see what people are saying about www.OnlineOrganizing.com, check out our visitor comments.