Most people don’t like to write resumes. And why should you need a resume anyway, especially if you fill out an application?
There is only one reason to write a resume, but it’s a good one – to create enough interest that the person doing the hiring wants to talk to you.
The application has a lot of the same information as a resume, so why a resume? The primary difference, and why you should do a resume specifically for each job at each company, is that the resume lets you present your information your way – to tell the person who is making the decisions how you are perfect for their job.
And the resume has an advantage – it lets you combine and connect your experience in ways the application doesn’t. For example, if you have two years doing bookkeeping as part of your job, but another five years keeping the books for your local softball league, you get to put on your resume that you have seven years of bookkeeping experience. If they want to find out about the other five, they need to bring you in for an interview.
You also get to put things in terms that make sense to the person doing the hiring. If you have been a Receptionist for five years, but spend most of your time making sales calls and doing billing, on your resume, you can say that over the past five years, you have made sales calls and handled billing for your company. Again, to find out more, they have to call you in, and you have a chance to sell yourself in person.
The best thing about a resume is that there are no hard requirements. You can use any format that gets your information across – you can list your skills, your accomplishments, companies, or job titles in any order. Put whatever makes you look the best at the top, put the things that don’t look as good at the bottom, or leave them off.
For example, if your education is your strongest qualification, put it first. If not, put it at the bottom, or leave it off. If you don’t have a degree, list the classes you took that are related to the job, or list training seminars you attended, even if they are in-house training.
Do not include anything that might work against you; religious or political affiliations, hobbies and interests, or skills that don’t relate to the job. You never know if the person reviewing your resume dislikes joggers, or people who sing in the choir.
Your job is to create a document that will show the person reviewing your paperwork who you want them to see. Don’t expect them to figure it out themselves – tell them in your own words. If they aren’t interested or reject you because they don’t like the format of your resume, you probably wouldn’t want to work for them anyway.