Resume writing begins with your career portfolio.
Resume writing should always begin with collating a career portfolio. A career portfolio is simply a collection of documentation related to your working history. It might include certificates of qualification, letters of recommendation, letters or emails of appreciation, duty statements for past jobs and evidence in documentary form of particular work achievements.
Career portfolios can be sorted into categories according to each particular job that you have had or in some other way that you feel is most appropriate such as having a portfolio arranged according to ‘skills’ and ‘achievements’ with evidence filed under each. There can be advantages in having an e-portfolio with all documents scanned so these can easily be sent on to a prospective employer if need be.
Good resume writing should emphasise your skills.
While you may have a standard resume that you may have developed from a sample resume that you found on the web, it is important to try and tailor it as much as you can to suit the particular job for which you are applying. Each job will require a slightly different set of skills and accordingly the resume that you submit for a job should emphasise these skills. During your job search you should be noting down the skills required by each job that interests you. Most resmues are arranged chronologically starting with the most recent position first and within that position setting out a brief summary of duties, key skills acquired and key achievements. However, for career changers it is sometimes better to use a resume format that sets out the skills and achievements as the core headings. Most experts recommend that if you are contemplating a career change your resume should contain a career summary. Resume writing also involves careful attention to layout and the correct use of language. In Australia a “resume” should not exceed three pages. Choosing the best referees for the position sought also requires careful consideration.
How to sell yourself with improved cover letter and resume writing skills
Your cover letter is your best chance to sell yourself to a prospective employer. However, most experts on the subject recommend that it be only 3 – 4 paragraphs long. Therefore you need to be concise as well as persuasive. After reading your cover letter a prospective employer needs to be convinced that you have undertaken some research about the organisation, that you have a real interest in the position and that you have the skills and abilities to undertake the role. You need to be sure to indicate a willingness to further discuss the position and provide suitable contact details.
Some positions in larger companies and government bodies require an application as a separate document to the resume. If an application is required it will frequently involve you addressing the various selection criteria. Selection criteria are simply a list of attributes, skills and experience that the potential employee will have. There is an art in addressing selection criteria so that you have the best chance of an interview. Many job applications are culled before the interview stage simply because they failed to be convincing in addressing selection criteria.
A prospective employer’s first impression of you is your job application, which includes your cover letter and resume. These two documents are critical elements in the selection processes. Not only does the cover letter and resume evidence your personal and professional skills and abilities, some employers use them as an indicator of the applicant’s written communication skills, their ability to write succinctly and to the point and structure documents and reports in a professional manner. So it’s very important to take time when preparing these documents and to get feedback on their effectiveness.
Professional Resume Writing is a skill.
Professional resume writing is a skill that improves with practice and constructive revision. Career Change will help you plan and write a resume that will highlight your skills, talents, work history and personal qualities.
We’ll help you get it right and show you how to continually improve your skills in cover letter and resume writing.