Getting a ‘foot in the door’ with your resume

A successful resume is the goal of many prospective employees. There are many misconceptions about resumes however, one of which is the idea that a properly written resume will get you hired. This cannot be further from the truth in most cases though. The true purpose of a resume is to get your foot in the door in a sense, and to help you get an interview with the employer. The resume is a short one or two page document that basically summarizes important information about you so that a potential employer may briefly scan it to see if they wish to take things further. Seeing as how the employer is likely to not spend more than a minute or two on your resume, you need to be sure that you include only quality information, as well as grab the attention of whoever reads it.

There are many steps involved in creating a resume, from choosing font, to organization of sections, to what information you will actually be including and excluding. Let’s start with what information to include and what information to exclude. Before I begin, I must tell you that I do not in any way condone lying on your resume. It is one of the fastest ways to become disqualified by the employer and will not make a very good impression.

What should you include and exclude?

What I mean by excluding certain information is that you only want to include that information which is relevant. You’re not going to want to put what elementary school you attended or even that you worked at McDonald’s in high school necessarily. First, do some research on the job that you are applying for. What sort of skills are going to be necessary to competently perform this job? Were you required to use any of these skills at any of your previous jobs? If so, then you are likely to want to include those jobs on your employment history, making note of specific tasks and skills.

Resume Types:

After choosing what information you will be including in your resume, you must choose what sort of format you are going to use. There are many different types of formats, from chronological to functional to a combination of both. A chronological resume features a predominant work experience field right after the introduction and contact information. The functional resume differs from the chronological resume because the order is reversed. Your skills and capabilities take precedence over any work experience. This is the typical default resume for many college students entering the job market as they don’t have much in the way of work experience.

A third type of resume format is that of the combination resume. Combination resumes combine both skills held and work history. This is considered to be a better format than the functional resume in many cases because it doesn’t look as if you’re trying to hide anything such as mishaps at previous jobs.

For information about each of these three different types of formats, visit Kerry’s post on SquawkFox.

You can also check out this video from psychetruth on YouTube:

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