Preparing a resume now and then

Especially in these tough economic times and with so many people out of work, changing careers, or trying to get their foot in the door of a company, it is important to keep your resume updated. If you have worked in one industry or company for many years and are now out of work, or are considering a whole new career, where do you start to create a new resume? What are employers looking for? How do you get their attention?

Some of the basics of a resume have changed quite a bit in the last 10 years. Here are some of the big differences in resumes prepared today compared to years ago:

Years ago, resumes started out with a Goal or Objective. Today, resumes are being prepared with a Summary of Qualifications or a Profile at the top. This consists of a bulleted list of highlights that you want an employer to see at first glance. They indicate what you are good at or what makes you stand out from other candidates.

Your Employment History should also consist of bullet points of several important facets of your job that you have attained or several tasks that you have accomplished in your job, (e.g., Increased company revenue by 30% in the last year; Responsible for managing the functions of a $25 Million sales company; Supervise a staff of 20 employees).

Be sure to show a progression within one company if you have had several positions or promotions within that company. Include the different job titles.

Years ago, resumes were prepared with a paragraph detailing exactly what you did at each different job. Now they are prepared with bullet points of only the highlights that you want to stand out. It is not necessary to list every single thing you ever did!

Start with the most current job first and work backwards chronologically. If you have had many different jobs for short periods of time, do not list every single job you have ever had. Go back perhaps to only the last five or six. Reason for leaving is not appropriate anymore.

Education comes after Employment History. Also start with the most current and work backwards. Make sure to include all continuing education that is applicable to the position that you are seeking.

Do not include personal information such as hobbies, family, health, etc. An employer can find this out in a personal interview.

Do not include salary requirements. That also can be given at the time of an interview.

References should be listed on a separate page, and only given out upon request.

Wendy Sterling Jones is the owner of Bay Office Services.

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Volume 1, Issue 2, Posted 11:16 AM, 09.03.2009