It's a simple paper that documents your professional achievements, predicts your future employment, and is terrifying to compose. There is no possible way that a single job title or resume can sum up all your duties and responsibilities, but it can get you a step closer to a dream job (or at least your next job). Follow these tips for a better resume and a promising career.
Why Have a Current Resume?
When is the last time you updated your resume? How much knowledge and how many skills have you acquired in that time? Perhaps even your contact information has changed. If you don't currently have a job, were to lose a job in the near future, or if you work on a freelance basis – you NEED a current resume. If you're not looking for employment, it's good to update your resume so that when you do need to look for a job, just a quick brush up will be all that's needed.
Updating your resume gives you a chance to revisit your work history, to refresh your memory and prepare for interviews. A resume is often a first impression. You wouldn't want recruiters or employers to miss out on hiring you because your resume doesn't clearly project your qualifications. An updated resume will show that you've read the job description. Take time to customize you're objective for each position you apply for.
The objective statement is clearly one of the most important parts of your resume. It should be placed just after your letterhead or name and contact information and before the body. A tailored objective statement will address what you are seeking, what you bring to the organization, and how you will improve the company. Use action words that align with the job requirements. Be bold, purposeful, and convincing. State your desire for a specific position and three reasons you're qualified.
Your objective statement should be followed by your qualifications, work experience, education, and list of any professional organizations you're a member of. You may wish to list types of welding you've done, computer programs you're familiar with, or circumstances/projects you've worked in. Formatting may vary based on your personal style, but the paper should allow the reader to easily scan. Leave plenty of white space. Use bullet points and indentation to make it easy on the eyes.
Get your resume online. Consider a professional profile on sites like LinkedIn or MyResumeOnline.org. Think carefully about the words you use on your online resume. Remember that potential employers use keywords to search; include these keywords in your resume. Your resume should show that you are qualified, but also well rounded. And don't be afraid to let some personality shine through. Always spell check, proofread, and let a friend or two give their constructive critique on this important document.
The Cover Letter
A brief cover letter can entice "resume sifters" to look further. If your cover letter is tailored to match the job description, your resume just might make the critical "first cut," staying out of the recycling. If you're sending an email, you'll want to be clear in your subject line which job title you're applying for. Expand in the email body to include how you qualify. Tease them enough that they look at your cleverly crafted resume.
Happy job hunting!