Not only is your resume the first thing an employer sees, it is what the employer will use to decide whether you move on to the next stage of the employment process. Make your first impression count.

Tailoring your Resume to the Job

An effective resume describes your education and experience that specifically relate to the job you are applying for. Your resume is a written snapshot that should clearly support your career goal and be tailored to the particular position for which you are applying. Have a specific job in mind when you are creating your resume. Analyze job descriptions for the skills and abilities that employers are seeking. Read through descriptions, highlight the required skills, attributes and qualifications.

Writing Your Resume

You can opt for the Chronological Resume: It Is the most commonly used format. A chronological resume is written in reverse chronological order – with your most recent education and experiences listed first. This is the easiest format to write. This format is good to use when your most recent experience or education is advantageous to the kind of position you are seeking, you have has job growth within the same company or you are staying in the same field as your prior experience. Sections on this type of resume would include Objectives – Education – Work Experience and Activities.

Functional Resume: In a functional resume, your skills and abilities are highlighted rather than where and when your education and experience took place. This is a good format to use if you have developed a set of skills over a wide variety of experiences within the same organization or activity. This is a good resume if you are entering the job market after a long absence or if you are entering the job market for the first time with little related experience, but a lot of skills. Section headings in this kind of resume would include Management, Leadership, Training Skills, Computer skills, Technical Skills, Research, Sales, etc.

Combination Resume: This form of resume contains the best of the chronological and functional formats. This format is usually used by applicants who have a strong background related to their objective. Sections of this resume would include Education and Experience as well as skills that you want to emphasize.

Conclusion: There are many different ways to make a resume. While composing your resume, write descriptive phrases. Write short phrases that describe what you did and illustrate each skill. Be concise and specific. Arrange the descriptive phrases in order of relevance to the position for which you are applying. What is important is that your resume should make a good impression and it should tell a potential employer what you have to offer. Remember – your resume will not get you a job, but it will hopefully get you an interview!

Example of chronological resume

Example of functional resume

Cover letters:

Although some candidates are equally qualified and submit excellent resumes that emphasize their accomplishments, training, positive work ethic and dedication, some candidates include a general cover letter using the same letter for every jobs opening they look at while other candidates research the companies and learn about their missions, performances, goals, corporate culture and study the job description to clearly spell out how they are an excellent match for that particular opening. These extra efforts very often make the difference and land them a job interview.

It's important to remember that the cover letter, like the resume, is a marketing tool. Use it to show how you can help the company in question.

Research Before You Write

The more you know about the employer's needs, the more compelling your letter can be. Review company Web sites, brochures, sales flyers and other promotional materials to glean pertinent information. If possible, speak with current employees to get the inside scoop. Search newspaper archives, public libraries and career-center resources. Do a keyword search using the company name and see what turns up.

Determine Your Unique Selling Points

With the knowledge that you have about the employer, how would you help achieve organizational goals? Set yourself apart: If there are 100 other applicants applying for the same position, why should the hiring manager take a chance on you? Write a list of the top five reasons why you're an excellent candidate.

Construct Your Letter