(BLACK PR WIRE) – If you are contemplating entering a new career, one of your top concerns is creating an impressive résumé. This is especially true if you are venturing into the job market for the first time. As you create your résumé, remember that a prospective employer will see your cover letter before your résumé. An effective cover letter will briefly state the position you seek, summarize your qualifications and justify your hiring. Next, you should find out the name of the appropriate contact to use in your opening salutation. Otherwise, address your cover letter to “Dear Hiring Manager” and give your name at the end.
The beginning of your résumé should state your name, address, phone number, email address and any other contact information. The next part should be your objective. This should be only a few sentences long and summarize your goals with the company, your work background and how it relates to those goals. The objective can also highlight your strengths and skills.
Now is the time for listing your experience. Each employment history entry should follow the template of who, when, where, and what. The entry should state the name of your former employer, the years you worked for the company, the city and state, your position title and your duties in that position. Either the year or the name of the company can be mentioned first, and your duties should be mentioned last. Be sure to mention your successes with the company. That means any awards or other special recognition, or any positive turnarounds under your tenure.
A normal résumé for the experienced job seeker would primarily focus on work history. Recent graduates will need to include different kinds of experiences. Mention any internships or volunteer work you performed. Mention any school clubs, civic activism, fraternities or sororities you are or were a member of, especially if you held any leadership positions in those organizations. Wherever you are in your employment journey, your résumé must be quick, relevant and easy to read. Remember, employers are busy and you are not the only person applying for this position. If a résumé doesn’t get right to the point, an employer will toss it into the trash.
Your résumé should be within one page, two at the most. If you find your résumé to be longer than two pages, figure out where you can cut back. Try limiting your experience to the last 5 to 10 years of your employment history, or your most significant career highlights. Delete all those month-long summer jobs you had in college and only mention extracurricular activities within the last year. If you are faxing a résumé, keep in mind that faxes don’t always come out so clearly. You should use a font size of at least 10 point and a simple font style for easy reading.
If you are a college student, contact your professors and teachers in the subjects relevant to your career field. Ask them to review your résumé and give their suggestions. If you are out of school and have already started working or interning in your field, find a professional mentor who can do the same. Good places to meet a mentor include professional organizations for your industry, chambers of commerce and business networking events. They are also good places to meet prospective employers. So get your résumé written, ready and in your hand for when opportunity knocks.