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What is the Most Important Career Document You Will Ever Have?

Your resume is a marketing document and you are the product! You should be trying to sell yourself and cast you in the best light! A resume is a 1 or 2 page career document that summarizes your career goals, professional background, accomplishments and education. The heading should consist of your name, address and contact information. The body of the resume should be broken into the following sections: summary of qualifications, employment history, achievements, and education. 

career document

A concise summary should discuss who you are as an employee and how your professional skills and experience may apply to the job you are interested in. The summary on your career document or resume shouldn’t contain personal information that discloses your ethnic background, marital status, age, or any other personal information that is not directly related to your career or career goals. Your summary should only contain a few well-written sentences that will communicate what you can bring to the table in terms of the specific position. You will use this section to attract the hiring manager’s attention. However, you don’t want to go overboard in trying to be creative – stay professional!  Your work employment history should include information on one to five jobs you’ve held, starting with your most current position, and listing previous positions in chronological order.

Related: Top 10 Things Better Leave Off Your CV

You want to list your dates of your positions held. In addition, you want to name the company you have worked for, to include the city and state where the place of employment is located (full address of employment is not necessary). Ensure you list your titles and your main responsibilities, with emphasis on duties that are applicable to the type of positions you are seeking.  Your education listing should include your college, graduate and post-graduate work, as well as any courses or professional certifications that are applicable to your career progression. Don’t forget to list your achievements, volunteer positions, and any publications and professional organizations. These should only be listed if they apply to your professional work experience. Typically you would not list generic statements about references being available upon request as this is understood.

In this competitive, internet-driven world of job hunts and searches, your resume represents you to potential hiring managers. Your resume and career documents serves as your tool to attract attention and to land that interview. A powerful resume document will make you stand out from the rest of the other candidates by showcasing your accomplishments! You want to think of your resume as your sales pitch! You need to sell yourself in the best way possible!

Related: 12 Helpful Tips to Stand Out from the Crowd

Take some time to research and invest into your resume as well as all your career documents. You want to ensure your resume is error free, so double check your grammar and spelling, and ensure all professional experience and college names and cities are properly spelled. If a resume contains errors, no matter how minimal, you will give your potential employer an impression that you don’t have attention to detail. You don’t want them to think you didn’t take the time to double check your work, and that you are a poor communicator.

Another thing you want to do is to ensure that your resume is correctly formatted as well. Avoid non-traditional fonts. Choose a typeface that is easier to read. Make sure to stick to basic fonts, like Arial and Times New Roman.  Keep the font size no smaller than 10 point font. Don’t use large fonts or multi-colors in your resume. Keep in mind not to go overboard with bold, italicized, or large-cap text. Make sure your format is consistent and that the resume looks visually appealing when viewed online as well as when printed out. Don’t forget to keep your resume to one or two pages. If you have many pages you may give an impression that you don’t know how to concisely summarize your experience, or you may be listing unnecessary information. Maybe you have never written a resume before, don’t be afraid to use resume books or internet resources. If you still are having issues, feel free to seek assistance from a professional resume writer. A well written career document can make or break you in your job search. Get the assistance you need to land the job of your dreams.

Related: Top 10 Résumé Formatting Tips

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