Impressive Resume Makes a Good First Impression
By Teena Rose
Most women are familiar with the saying,
"You never get a second chance to make
a first impression." When crafting a
resume, you should keep that saying in mind.
There's little doubt that once you get through
the door, the interview process becomes the
single most important element of the job-seeking
process. But it's the resume that opens that
door. It's a document that summarizes your
education, accomplishments, goals, and skills
in one tight package. A resume alone won't
land a job. It should, in fact, be considered
a success if it doesn't exclude you from being
a candidate for that job. It's your pathway
toward the interview and one misstep in the
resume can trip you up.
Whether you're writing your first resume
or updating it for the 15th time, it may seem
like a daunting task; but you don't have to
be J.K. Rowling to pull off a well-written
and well-organized resume. A resume is not
your freshman English paper. Word usage, punctuation,
grammar and spelling are all important, of
course, but the resume is a business document
that should outline, summarize and follow
a reader-friendly format with brevity. Long-winded
ramblings that include every accomplishment
from your first lemonade stand to your sorority
chapter presidency are not necessary.
So then, what is necessary in crafting a
successful, polished resume? Here are five
pointers to keep in mind:
Don't proof your own resume
This author once saw the word "addition"
included in the experience section of a resume.
Problem was, the job seeker meant to use the
word "edition," referring to a particular
publication. Ouch! Always get a second or
even third pair of eyes to read your resume.
Needless to say, spelling errors, bad grammar
and typing mistakes can sink your job-searching
ship before it leaves the dock. Fortunately,
there are more liberties when writing an article
about winning resumes.
Create printable, e-mail and web-based versions
of your resume
It used to be easy to format your resume.
Type it out on a white piece of paper with
the proper margins and, viola, you're done.
Maybe that's the way your mother did it, but
this is the 21st century and the Internet
controls everything. Paper versions are still
required, but resumes must be prepared in
a format that can be emailed and posted on
Not all resumes are created equal. The resume
you create with MS Word or on your Mac can
look very different to the receiver if it
is not formatted properly. In today's high-tech
world, consider having three versions of your
resume, including one that's printable, one
that can be scanned and one that can be emailed.
Consider flash or web resumes as well, which
add a touch of flair while maintaining a sense
Customize your resume
The objective when sending a resume is to
connect with an employer, and not all employers
are created alike. Your skills may qualify
you for a variety of industries, so customize
it in a way that relates to a particular job.
You don't have to rewrite your entire resume
depending on a particular job posting, but
streamline and maneuver some of the key points
so they address the requirements an employer
Consider a professional resume-writing service
If you don't have the time or confidence
to produce your own resume, there are plenty
of services that can help. If you can't express
your skills and abilities on paper, find a
service that has a track record of bringing
out the best in employee resumes. A quality
service should be experienced and offer a
personalized resume. It should offer samples
of resumes and cover letters. Also, there's
no reason to stay local with the Internet
at your fingertips. Retaining a resume service
is something that can be done using the computer,
phone and email. Research and compare various
services before making your decision.
Need a kick-butt resume
and cover letter? Teena Rose is
a credentialed resume writer, columnist, book
author, and careerist. She's authored several
books, including "20-Minute
Cover Letter Fixer" and "Cracking
the Code to Pharmaceutical Sales."