Here at ACPE, the Careers Team put a lot of effort and focus on educating our students on what we call the first step to a job application – resume writing.
Resume writing is the first step in the job application process and often, the importance of a strong, well-written resume is over-looked. By not placing your focus on how your resume appears, you might be doomed to fail before you get an opportunity to really shine.
When the time comes for you to start preparing your resume and share things like your experience, skills and key attributes on a document, you might find it overwhelming and confusing as to how you can make your resume stand out from all the other applicants.
To help make sure your resume is not overlooked and that you get your chance to impress your future boss in an interview, the ACPE Careers Team have listed some tips on how to get started below…
Schedule a time
This first step to creating a new resume takes effort, time and focussed thought, so ensure that you schedule a time when you can sit for a couple of hours to get started on the process. You may find that it works best to write your resume over a few sessions rather than getting it done in one session. Doing this helps break the task into manageable chunks and brings a fresh mind to the document in order to review progress and introduce new ideas.
Identify the purpose
A resume is essentially a marketing document, so having a clear purpose will help you create a perfect resume. As such, prior to starting the process of writing your resume, take some time to clarify the reasons why you want a new resume. Perhaps you have recently graduated? Or you fancy a career change? Or perhaps you are simply looking for a new challenge and opportunity to develop professionally? By identifying the purpose, you will have a clear understanding of why you are doing this and maintain a high level of motivation to see the task through.
Clean it up
You may have a resume that is outdated and cramped with everything you have done. In taking this step, try to view your resume through the eyes of recruiters and employers. What information might be meaningful to you, but not relevant to include for a specific kind of role?
A good resume requires a good structure to ensure that it appears organised and easy to read. This structure for your resume content is divided into categories or sections. Resume categories include Career Objective, Education, Employment History, Special Projects, Skills Summary, Volunteer Experience, and Awards & Accomplishments. Make sure you don’t go back and forth between categories as you work. Focus on one category at a time and work on them individually to make the task of writing your resume more manageable.
Are you happy with it?
Well done, you have completed your first draft. Are you happy when you look at your new resume? Is the content relevant? Does it convey your work experience and study successes so far? Have you outlined your personal attributes? Have you highlighted specific relevant achievements? Is the formatting consistent, simple and organised? Is it error free?
The last step before creating a final draft is getting feedback. ACPE students and alumni can do that by emailing the careers team firstname.lastname@example.org, or by booking an online or face to face appointment for guidance and advice here.