How to Write an Effective Resume

Bored? Broke? Just need a reason to get out of the house? Whatever the reason for your job-hunting may be, one thing’s for certain: you’ll need a resume. So how do you write one that will snag an employer’s eyes? Read on:

*Be honest: This is the hardest part for many people who want to inflate their credentials and thus their egos. But if you’re not honest, chances are that an employer will spot your fib eventually—if not immediately. If you never graduated from college, don’t pretend you did. If you studied English when he wants a Graphic Design major, don’t lie and tell him you studied Graphic Design—but tell him that you are already familiar with the computer program his company uses and that you have a natural aesthetic sense. If you are sincere and honest, then sometimes employers may make exceptions.

*Include your contact information: At the top of the page, usually in the center, list your full name, your mailing address, your phone number, and your e-mail address. Decide whether you want to list both your cell and your home phone, or just one of them. Also make sure that the e-mail address you list sounds professional and isn’t something like party_animal77@yahoo.com. Usually the best option is using your name for your e-mail address, like bobsmith@hotmail.com. Also be certain that you check the e-mail address you list at least five times a week, in case the employer decides to e-mail rather than call you.

*Make a summary: Write what your main skills are, including computer skills or fluency in a foreign language, and what position in the company you seek. This only neds to be 1-3 sentences.

*List your educational experience: Employers will usually want to know your educational background from high school onward. Mention when and from where you graduated and what kind of degree you earned. Again, be honest. If possible, list one or two teacher references in case your employer wants to contact one of your former professors.

*List past work experience: If you have worked anywhere in the past, list the company name, your position, how many years you worked there, and whether you were full-time, part-time, seasonal, temporary, or an intern. Be sure to highlight any leadership positions you may have held. Try to list at least two references if you have a long work history and one if you have a shorter one. Employers may want to contact someone from your previous place of employment.

*List any relevant awards or honors: Are you an award-winning author seeking a position at a publishing company? Put it down! Did you win a science contest and want to work at a lab? Don’t forget to list it! Include anything you think will augment your credentials.

*List any volunteer work and/or hobbies: Employers may be interested in learning what you do in your free time. If you enjoy volunteering at the local soup kitchen or knitting, the skills you learned at the soup kitchen or your knitting may one day come in handy for the company.

*Mention anything that might take your time away from work: If you have health issues or a close family member or neighbor with health issues, for instance, then you should mention that you would have to occasionally miss work in order to go to the hospital. If there is anything you think might interfere with work, employers will want to know, so be honest and put it down.

Writing a resume doesn’t require much effort, but writing a GOOD resume does. Be honest and concise while still including all the essential information, and you’re sure to land a job eventually.