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How to Write a Powerful and Successful Resume

Bryan Goldberg

Whether on paper or on-line, as a job seeker presenting your resume to a prospective employer, you will get you 15 to 20 seconds to pass the �gatekeeper� who screens the resumes out. Hence, it is vital to put your best effort to make an important first impression.

For the content of a resume, generally it should begin with a �Summary of Qualification� which is an overview of your career experience written in 3 to 8 lines. In �Summary of Qualification�, you can highlight your skills and accomplishment right up front. On the other hand, an �Objective� is more appropriate when you have graduated recently from your college or you are completely changing fields.

Next, you should define you �Area of Strength�. In this section, list the keywords briefly as if you are going to put the resume on the Internet. Most companies usually scan for appropriate keywords and require seeing a particular buzzword, such as �Sales management�, �Cost control�, �Financial reporting�, or �Distribution�.

Then, you should write your �Professional Experience� and list you job experience under this heading. This should be done by identifying and describing your skills and responsibilities. Skills are defined as what you do and how you do it in each job position that you have held from now to ten years ago. Hiring managers are only interested in your skills and past experience over the past ten to twelve years. You can only list the previous jobs if they are related to your field.

A distinguishing point between you and everyone else with similar work experience is your �Accomplishments�. It is important that you quantify your accomplishments under each job title. This means that you should describe how you helped the company make money, save the money, increase department efficacy, and/or reduce operating costs. You should be specific with the numbers and percentages whenever possible.

After a clear presentation of your job responsibilities and accomplishments, the next category in your resume should be �Education�, in which you need to list your degrees earned, name of college/university, and city/state. A general rule of writing resume explains to write the years of graduation only if you have graduated within the past 3 years. It is important not to exaggerate or write false statements regarding the subject area which you majored in, your GPA, or the type of degree earned. In case you have attended college for some time and did not graduate, do not list BA. A background check will immediately disqualify you for consideration.

After you have prepared the whole content of the resume, next step is to focus on the visual presentation of its �format�. A weak format just does not work even if the content is good. Visual presentation is the key point of your resume and as important as the content itself. Hence, make sure the typeface is not too small, there is enough white space on the page, and print is not smudged or too light that it becomes hard to read.

For job seekers, it is important to note that the function of the resume is not to get you a job but to get you a phone call for an interview. If it has accomplished that, its job has been done.

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