Many people take it for granted, but the task of writing a winning resume is a delicate one. As it were, a resume has to make a strong positive impact within just a few seconds so that, hopefully, it earns you a chance at an interview, where you can explain your case and sell yourself to the employer. In this regard, a resume is very much like a TV ad, which has very few seconds to make an impact and convince the viewer to check out a product. But, unlike a TV ad that is aired day after day, a resume typically has only one chance of to make its impact on the employer.
This is because recruitment is usually done by busy executives and, due to the numerous resumes which are received for all attractive positions, each resume normally gets only a few seconds to make its impact. Therefore a lot of care is needed in preparing your resume, if it is to make the powerful impact needed to get the executive’s attention. Here are some of the key ingredients for a resume, which you have to pay special attention to in order to craft a winner.
1. Length: A resume is meant to be a persuasive summary of your skills, and you therefore need not bog it down in too much detail. At the same time, there are some essential details which give you a competitive edge over other applicants, and you cannot afford to leave them out when creating a winning resume. This need to keep your resume short and yet ensure that all relevant details are captured, makes resume writing a delicate balancing act. To help you make a good decision on what to include and what to leave out, you should create your resume with the typical needs of employers in mind. This means putting yourself in the shoes of the employer, and asking yourself what the employer is likely to be looking for in the given position you are aiming for. You should then prepare a resume to provide that information in a concise, but persuasive, manner. All said and done, a good resume is a page long, maximum two pages. Any resume longer than two pages is considered an awful goof.
2. Appearance: First impressions matter in everything, and especially in job-hunting tools like resumes, which have to make a good impact within a matter of seconds. You need to create your resume in a comfortable-to-read font and color. Conventional wisdom has it that the traditional black and white is still the best color scheme to use for your resume, unless you are looking for a post in the creative arts, like in graphic design and painting, where a little more color might be in order.
3. Format: In this regard, you need to choose between a chronological and functional resume format. A chronological resume brings focus to your track record and professional achievements. A functional resume, on the other hand, brings the focus on your present competencies and other qualifications. The chronological resume format works best for people with consistent and logical career histories, which might be used to a competitive advantage, whereas the functional format will work out best for people who feel that they lack a consistent or logical career history to write on and those who feel the need to keep the focus on their present competencies and other qualifications, knowing that is where their competitive edge lies.