Good resumes lead to great first impressions.
Your objective in preparing a resume and cover letter is to create a professional first impression resulting in an interview. Below are some pointers for preparing a powerful, succinct document. However, don't overlook the basics of performing a spelling/grammar check and thoroughly proofreading the document. Nothing will turn the reader off faster than spelling or grammatical errors.
To construct a concise and authoritative resume, you first need to put on your sales hat and know your audience.
It is reasonably safe to assume that your resume will be processed in one of two ways:
- Either a financial or IT professional or someone familiar with the functional subject matter will perform the initial screening by reviewing all resumes and prioritizing those who will be interviewed. Due to time constraints, screeners seldom read every word on your resume. They want to know what you've done, when you've done it and for what type of organization. Keep in mind, many companies screen resumes electronically into a database program. Therefore, your resume needs to reflect key words found in the company's job description if they accurately reflect your background. Customizing your resume to focus on your specific skills and qualifications related to the job opening is worth the extra effort.
- Is likely to be imported into the company's database in a text format. Avoid using a lot of font sizes, font types, bold face, italics, underlines and tables, which do not transfer in many electronic media.
Although your resume is a sales document, don't be too fancy with your format. Your experience and accomplishments should stand out, not the odd-colored paper or unusual font.