Building a Resume Tips
Study how to build a resume by studying the profession you want to enter. Each profession or career field is going to require different skills and personal characteristics, so building the perfect resume is going to differ significantly from one job to the next. Once you know which job or career path you want to enter, resume building becomes a matter of filling in the blanks on the types of skills required.
I’ll give a general “how to guide” for building a resume, which focuses on the steps you need to take when putting together a resume for your dream job. This is white hat information, based on the idea that you actually want to master the skills and techniques needed to competently fill the job you’re applying for. With that in mind, the time it takes to build a resume will vary, because it may take time to fill those holes in your resume. Read on and see what I mean.
- Create a Goal – First of all, determine what kind of a job or career you want to apply for. Once you figure out your goals and ambitions, you can start to prepare to achieve those goals and ambitions. In this case, figure out the type of professional field you want to enter. Once you do that, you’ll be able to start working on a resume for that field.
- Research Your Chosen Profession – Once you know what your goal is, research this type of occupation and figure out what the entry-level skills and traits are that you’ll need to acquire such a job. Try to get your hands on a sample resume for this profession. If you can’t do that, find out what an employer would be looking for when interviewing candidates for that job. Be thorough.
- Make Two Lists – Make two lists: one full of skills you have and skills you don’t have to apply for a job. Now that you know what skills, characteristics and experiences you’ll need to qualify for the job you want, it’s a matter of figuring out how much of your resume you have to “fill out”. Once you understand the demands of the job, reassess your goals and decide if you’re willing to do what it takes to qualify for this job.
- Start Self-Improvement – Once you know which weaknesses or holes in your resume exist, it’s time to build towards becoming the person who will qualify for your dream job. It’s time for self-improvement. Maybe you need to take a course or two in management, computer skills or business skills. Maybe you need to volunteer with a group or organization to show leadership skills or to prove through internship you have the know-how or the willingness to sacrifice or learn. To many times, people focus on strengthening their strengths, because it’s easier. Try to focus on strengthening your weaknesses, because it will make you a more well-rounded employee. The very idea that you’re striving to improve yourself will impress many potential employers, and fill you with new-found confidence in your ability to grow into your job.
- Work Towards Your Goal – If you are setting your sights high up the professional ladder, don’t get discouraged if you don’t immediately achieve the results you want. Be realistic. Build towards your goal. If you have to take a lesser job that will lead to the job you want, don’t be ashamed or too proud to accept that lesser status job. Sometimes you have to take a step to the side or take a step down in order to take a step up. Keep your eyes on your ultimate ambition and make decisions that will lead you to your goal. Life isn’t always about instant gratification of your desires, so work hard to achieve something even more rewarding.
- Record Your Progress – When you complete a step in building your resume, make sure to collect the proper records to show your progress. Make sure your supervisors and teachers know your name and give recommendations. If you volunteer, keep a good record of your volunteer work. Make sure you get credit for the improvements you make.
- Rewrite the Resume – After you have filled the holes in your resume, rewrite your resume to reflect the new changes and improvements. Don’t embellish your resume, but be proud of the new skills you’ve acquired and the old characteristics you’ve improved. When you’ve built your resume through hard work and dedication, you’ll walk into that interview with a confidence and self-esteem that good employers will recognize.
- Use a Resume Building Tool – When you’re rewriting your resume, use a computer tool to help you build your resume. There are computer programs that help you compile a professional-looking resume simply by filling in the blanks.
- Have Someone Proofread Your Resume – Have a friend proofread your resume. Preferably, it would be best to have someone who either knows resumes or knows writing to look over a resume. If you are a student, have an English instructor proofread your resume. If you’re in the business world or a little older, have a friend in management take a look at the resume. Obviously, if you’re working at one company, don’t have someone else in that company’s management look it over. You probably have a friend somewhere in your life who is a manager, though, so have them take a minute to look over your resume.
- Be Truthful, But Be Flattering – Don’t lie about your skills or job history in your resume. At the same time, don’t be shy about your skills and strengths. Consider adding an interests or hobbies section at the bottom of a resume, since these might display traits that could help you in a business situation. Don’t put hobbies that in no way would help you in your job performance, and certainly don’t put hobbies that would reflect badly on you. But many areas of interest will either show you to be more well-rounded than your employer might think, or show a skill or talent they might not otherwise know you have. Be smart about the information you put on your resume and be flattering to yourself, but there’s no reason to sell yourself short.