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Career Advice

I am a master’s level career counselor. I am internationally certified as a Career Management Practitioner (CMP) by the Institute for Career Certification International and have been recognized as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) through the National Board for Certified Counselors

Writing a Winning Resume

career advice, resume advice, jobs

If you are finding it difficult to land a job, your resume might be in need for some updating. For young professionals, finding their first real job can be a difficult task, but a perfect resume can increase your chances significantly. Given below are some best practices that you can follow for writing a resume.

1.       Write a summary statement instead of an objective

In the past, objectives were a key part of a resume. However, they are now outdated because they focus on the candidate’s needs rather than the requirements of the company. Instead of writing an objective, you can write a clear and concise summary of your qualifications, education, and experience as per the needs and values of the company. Given below is an example of a job description and how you can use it for your resume summary.

Sample description

The ideal candidate should have strong verbal and written communication skills, social media knowledge, internship experience, and be able to meet deadlines. Fluency in Spanish is ideal but not required. The company in question works with nonprofit organizations driven by community service.

·         Sample summary

  • An organized and deadline-oriented professional with two years of experience in social media and public relations
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills in Spanish and English
  • Worked with a local nonprofit for the last three summers in community development projects 

2.       Customize your resume template

Templates are a great way to start writing a resume without working from scratch. You can find a template in Microsoft Office itself, and you can also search for different templates online at sites like ResumeIndex.com. When finding a template, look for something that suits your style and is readable and clean. Once you find a template, tailor it yourself according to your strongest selling points.

3.       Mention your experience first

For many young professionals, education is might not be the biggest selling point in their profile. Internship experience is more useful for them, which is why it should be mentioned first and education should be mentioned later on. Moreover, if your GPA is less than 3.0, there is no need to mention it. You can, however, include your GPA in your major subject if it is higher than your average GPA.

The basic idea here is to organize the details in your resume so that you present the best reasons for hiring you first. Education is definitely an important part of a resume, but experience is what separates you from the crowd. If you lack experience, it is best to start volunteering or interning while you are looking for a job.

4.       Add keywords and remove fluff

Use keywords in your resume that employers are looking to see; otherwise, your resume would be rejected by computerized tracking systems that scan resumes. If you are not sure about what keywords to add to your resume, go through the LinkedIn profiles of some people who have the position you are applying for and look at their skills. Notice the common words and terms and use them as keywords. These days, the focus of employers is on a candidate’s skills rather than experience because skills can be used in different industries but experience cannot.

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