Resume Writing Help - How to Create a Winning Document

A resume can make or break your employment future success. Simply put, your resume is a marketing tool that advertises your skills and abilities to a potential employer. It can either open or close the door to success.

"Why didn't I get an interview? I'm qualified..."

A winning resume does not just list your past work experiences and duties. It also convinces the reader that you have the identified skills and abilities to meet or exceed the employer's expectations. Your resume must be written to arouse interest and encourage the employer to contact you for an interview.

What you may not realize is that a resume is scanned for only a few seconds while the employer searches for key qualities and accomplishments. Therefore, it is imperative your resume capture the reader and ignite an immediate interest, or else get lost in the shuffle.

Resume Writing Help

You have toiled over every intricate detail of your past work experiences and duties, you have drafted and re-drafted your document, and now you are ready to assemble. Follow the tips below to create a winning resume and avoid being passed over.

  1. Carefully review the Job Posting/Description

    Don't send the same "generic" resume to different job opportunities, tailor it when possible. If you do, they will think you are ignoring their specific needs and requirements.

    Keep in mind your objective is to secure an interview, you must highlight the appropriate skills and experience you have relevant to the job available. In the event there is no job description, try to research core competencies for similar positions.

    You must prepare several resumes tailored to the positions for which you are applying. A resume is not a "one size fits all."
  2. Maintain Focus - Chronological or Functional Format

    Ensure that you know what the employer is looking for and what you can offer. Once you have established this criteria, decide whether you need a chronological or a functional resume.

    Chronological Resume - Coordinates your past work experiences, placing emphasis on experiences that apply directly to the specific position. Your work experiences are ordered from most to lest recent.

    Functional Resume - A functional resume is ideal when you have little or no experience in a particular field, but you believe you have the skills and talent to do it anyway. Instead of highlighting your work experiences, you portray your skills and abilities in skill categories.
  3. Focus on Your Accomplishments

    Focusing on your accomplishments will set you apart from other applicants. Highlight the value and successes you have brought to your past employers. Spot-lighting your achievements will show a potential employer how you out-performed your peers during difficult conditions.
  4. Use Descriptive & Keywords

    Descriptive Words - When describing your past work experiences and accomplishments, start your phrases in the past tense, listing them in bulleted format. This will make your statements dramatic and descriptive. Example descriptive words: achieved, decreased, planned, produced, restructured, transformed, initiated, supervised, managed.

    Keywords - Showcase your competence in a particular field by using keywords that highlight your competencies and expertise. Example keywords: Teacher: Classroom management, curriculum design and implementation; Principal: Educational program evaluation, IEPs, enrollment process.
  5. Proofread & Review Your Resume

    Ensure your resume is error-free. If a potential employer finds typos and errors in grammar, your resume will quickly be tossed into the "No" pile.

    Read and re-read your resume. Have someone else critique it, is very difficult to identify your own errors. A friend's review of your resume will help you discover unclear and confusing areas and may provide more information you may have forgotten. It will never hurt to have an extra set of eyes proof your document.
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Success Stories

"Dear Candace,

I just wanted to thank you for the awesome resume that you created for me in such a short notice of time. I was able to take it to the XXXX County job fair in XXX. I was only able to meet with one principal at the job fair and she pretty much offered me a job on the spot. I am now moving from XXX to XXX to be with my boyfriend, which I would not be able to do if I did not have a teaching position. I will definitely recommend your services to anyone I know or meet that needs a resume.

Thanks again for everything!

Sincerely,"

S. W.

"Dear Candace,

Thank you very much for meeting me on the phone to discuss my interview strategies. It was an extremely enlightening and productive meeting for me. I'll use my new, "enlightened" approach this coming week. I'll let you know if I got a job, or need more help!

Thanks again,"

T W

***More Success Stories***

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Candace Davies ACCC, CRW, CIC, CPRW, CEIP, CECC
Find out more about Candace here.