Welcome to www.n-georgia.com Georgia Dept. of Labor Job Search Handbook - Chapter 7 - Résumés and Cover Letters - For résumés, there is no one size or shape that fits all. Each must fit the individual for whom it is tailored.
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Perhaps, the easiest way to begin tailoring your résumé is to recognize what a résumé is not. A résumé is NOT...a 3-volume biography, an advertisement, or an artistic event. Major employers consider an average of 245 résumés for every interview granted. At best, a résumé will get you past the initial screening and into the interview. At worst, it will provide information that will screen you out.
Regardless of the type of résumé you choose, the presentation of your experience, skills, and abilities must support a specific job objective (remember Chapter 5, Establishing Goals).

If you have more than one job objective, you will probably need a résumé especially prepared for each. Using the skills you developed in Chapter 4 and Chapter 5, you should be able to begin your résumé by:

Bulletstating your job objective/goal clearly and concisely, and describing your experience, transferable and job content skills either in chronological or functional groupings.
When you've completed that portion of your résumé, the hardest part is over.

The remainder consists of facts:
Bulletphone number(s)
Bulletnoteworthy achievements/accomplishments

Although there are many types of résumés, the most commonly used are the chronological, functional and combination. Your first step is to decide which of the résumés types will best describe your skills and abilities.
Type 1 - Chronological
Spells out your work history starting with the most recent employer. Specifies employer names and job titles. Describes duties for each job.
Advantages - Emphasizes continuity and career growth. Is easy to follow. Preferred by most employers.
Disadvantages - Fails to group abilities/skills. Points out any gaps in employment. Points out any lack of work experience.
Type 2 - Functional
Clusters experience under major skill areas rather than listing experience under each job. Points out major strengths and abilities. Is organized to strongly support objective.
Advantages - Hightlights strong points and accomplishments. Is flexible. Eliminates repetition of duties. Is useful for changing careers.
Disadvantages - Is often viewed as a way to hide gaps or lack of experience. Is more difficult to prepare.
Type 3 - Combination
Combines elements of both the chronological and functional résumé. It begins with a brief objective, then lists specific skills relevant to the objective, followed by employment history.
Advantages - Allows writer to avoid listing months and years worked at each job.
Disadvantages - Is often not as orderly as other résumés and may be harder to follow.
Helpful Hints For Writing Your Résumé
BulletWrite it Yourself - You will be better prepared for interviews.
BulletBe Relevant - Everything must directly relate to your job objective.
BulletUse Action Verbs - (See samples in this chapter)
BulletBe Positive - Emphasize your accomplishments.
BulletBe Specific - Document your abilities.
BulletBe Accurate - You will be expected to perform as described.
BulletBe Brief - Use short sentences and action words. Use only one to two pages.
BulletMake it Error Free - Have someone check your spelling and grammar.
BulletMake it Look Good - Use fine grade paper and laser quality printing.
In reading over the résumé, did you notice:
Bulletnone were more than 1 page long. Most employers will not take time to read lengthy résumés.
Bulletnone provided irrelevant details such as hobbies, height, weight, health, marital status/children. If a fact is not job related, it is not only useless, it may be dangerous.
Bulletjob/skills descriptions were concise; action verbs were used; information was well organized. BulletMost employers are looking FOR something. If that something is not easy to find and understand, the résumé may be discarded.
Bulletall résumés were neat, spell checked, professionally typed, attractively presented and easy to read. Fancy type, exotic paper; photos and other "artistic expression" is overkill and not necessary.
Bulletthe strongest skills and abilities appeared immediately after the objective.
references were not listed, but offered upon request. Offering to furnish references is optional. NOTE: References are people who have favorable opinions of you and who can attest to your work ethic, job content, transferable or self management skills. Remember to contact your references before you supply their names. References are normally not contacted by the employer until after the interview - just prior to the hiring decision.
Avoid Résumé Mistakes
BulletDon't have a résumé longer than two pages. (One is best.)
BulletDon't attach documents. (Diplomas, recommendation letters, transcripts, etc.)
BulletDon't use odd sized paper. (Use standard 8 1/2 by 11.)
BulletDon't include personal irrelevancies.
BulletDon't use complete sentences. (Use action phrases.)
BulletDon't include pictures.
BulletDon't list education first. (unless a recent graduate with limited experience.)
BulletDon't forget accomplishments.
Scannable Résumés
Computer technology has rewritten the rules of the job search game to include a new type of résumé. This résumé is the scannable résumé. Just as its name suggests, it is read by résumé scanning software. How does the scannable résumé differ from traditional résumés? Here are the basic differences:

No frills. Scannable résumés are plain and simple. Use limited boldface, no italic or script text. Limit use of vertical and horizonal lines, no underlining, no special pictures or graphics, and no highlighting or shading.

Use of keywords. Probably the most important difference is that nouns are used keywords instead of the action verbs that liven up so many résumés. Computers search résumés for key-words, not verbs, in an effort to identify which candidate has the background and experience that best fits with the job requirements.

Changes in standard résumé production. For the purpose of making the résumé more "scanner friendly," changes need to be made. Here are the most basic ones:
BulletCertain fonts are now better than others, including the Helvetica and Arial series.
Bullet The use of industry jargon and abbreviations should now be played up instead of avoided.
BulletRésumés should not be folded or stapled.
BulletTelephone area codes should not be placed in brackets.
Cover Letters
Once you have created the perfect résumé (for you), the next challenge is getting to the person who makes hiring decisions. The best tool is the cover letter:

A good cover letter:
Bulletis addressed to a person (not "to whom it may concern")
Bulletpersonalizes your résumé to a particular employer (and demonstrates that you know something about the employer's business)
Bulletbegins with a strong opening statement (to capture interest)
Bullet is short (to hold interest)
Bulletemphasizes your value as a potential employee (by stressing your skills and accomplishments)
Bulletenumerates how you meet the job requirements specified, when responding to an ad or job announcement
Bulletasks for an interview (and leaves the door open for you to recontact the employer)

Since the first sentence is usually the most difficult, we'll get you started with some samples of opening statements and an example of a complete letter.
BulletYou will see from my attached résumé that I am skilled in __________ and could be an asset to XYZ Company.
Bullet If you are looking for an employee who ________, I believe you will be interested in the attached résumé.
BulletCan you use a ___(job title)___ with the ability to ___(skills)___? I have these talents.
Bullet If XYZ Company is on the lookout for a good (job title), you may be interested in my skills and achievements.
BulletMy enclosed résumé shows the skills and abilities I can bring to your business.

The cover letter should meet the standards of your résumé...neat, concise, grammatically sound and words correctly spelled.

Handbook Chapters
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12


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