By ANNE DONNELL
I hope you’ll give me some advice on writing my resume (CV). I’ve just graduated and am looking for a job. I’d like one that I love, but I’m really just wanting to work. Thank you. -Grad With Dreams
Congratulations to you and to the many others who have recently completed stages of education: high school, college, vocational training and more. The world you face has always been difficult. You’ve already met some important challenges and have been equipping yourself well to meet others. Don’t picture failure. Picture being a contributor to society, a family person, a reliable worker, friend, and neighbor. You’re on your way and can, with appropriate wariness, avoid pitfalls that snag others. Worry, self pity, and despair must be “downsized.”
The Internet offers help; if you don’t have a computer, the public library does. TotalRésumé.com looks especially good and includes a template. About.com gives the following advice.
“First, take notes on your work experience -- both paid and unpaid, full time and part time. Write down your responsibilities, job title and company information…Take notes on your education. Include degree or certificates, major or course emphasis, school names and courses relevant to career objectives. Take notes on other accomplishments. Include membership in organizations, military service and any other special accomplishments… choose which skills are transferable …to the job you are applying for - these are the most important points for your resume.
“Begin resume by writing your full name, address, telephone number, fax, and email at the top of the resume. “Write an objective. The objective is a short sentence describing what type of work you hope to obtain.
“Begin work experience with your most recent job. Include the company specifics and your responsibilities -- focus on the skills you have identified as transferable. Continue to list all of your work experience job by job progressing backwards ….
“Summarize your education, including important facts (degree type, specific courses studied) that are applicable to the job you are applying for.
“Include other relevant information such as languages spoken, computer programming knowledge …under the heading: Additional Skills.
“Finish with the phrase: REFERENCES Available upon request.
“Your entire resume should ideally not be any longer than one page. If you have had a number of years of experience specific to the job you are applying for, two pages are also acceptable…”
A recent online article, “What's 'In' and 'Out' on the Job Hunt” by The Creative Group [a specialized staffing service placing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals with a variety of firms on a project basis. http://www.creativegroup.com/.] notes, “…. To give yourself the best possible chance of landing a new position, you need to use the most up-to-date approaches….
“Out: Blanketing local employers with a résumé and cover letter addressed ‘To whom it may concern.’
“In: Researching prospective employers and applying to companies where your skills and interests match their needs…
“Out: Stilted language in application materials (e.g., "Please find my résumé attached in response to the job posting ...").
“In: More natural prose that provides a sense of your personality. .. So use your résumé and cover letter as a way to show the hiring manager who you are. But … remain professional -- you can get your personality across without resorting to shorthand, slang or "text speak."
“Out: Using unusual résumé formats to hide employment gaps.
“In: Filling potential gaps through volunteer or temporary work.
“Out: Overly detailed résumés.
“In: Streamlined résumés that list relevant accomplishments … Focus on the skills you have that match the employer's requirements and, in particular, bottom-line contributions you've made in previous roles.
“Out: A narrow focus in your job search.
“In: A broad view of how your skills might be useful in various roles …Think about the skills you possess and how they could be applied in new ways or in an entirely new position or field. For example, your experience spearheading a product launch could position you for a role as a project manager.
“Out: Networking occasionally.
“In: Networking constantly using tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, as well as in person. The best way to find a job remains through word of mouth. ..Offer to treat people to coffee on occasion to catch up and talk about your search. “Out: A set reference list.
“ In: A customized reference list for each opportunity.
“Out: Ending the interview by asking when they'll be contacting you.
“In: Ending the interview by asking for the job on a trial basis…
“The fundamentals of the job search -- reaching out to employers and making a positive impression -- haven't changed. But the tools for doing so are different today than even just a few years ago. Make sure you understand the current trends to maximize your success on the job hunt.”