Putting Your Resume Together

Updated on Nov 30, 2010

BY NOW, YOU should have a pretty good idea of what type of job you're going to be applying for, and hopefully you have spent ample time evaluating yourself to determine what makes you marketable in today's competitive business world. You should also have identified major similarities between the job openings and your qualifications.

The next step in the resume-writing process is to take all of this information and put it together into what will become your resume. This article will help you:

  • Format your resume content so it fits the selected resume style (chronological, functional, targeted, etc.).
  • Develop the best way to state each piece of information within each section of your resume.
  • Decide whether or not to use bulleted lists within the various resume sections.
  • Select the best action verbs and power phrases to add impact and ultimately sell yourself to a potential employer.

Better Resume, Better Offer

Unless you're currently employed and looking for a new job on the side, the fact that you're unemployed is costing you money in lost wages. Obviously, the sooner you land a new job, the faster you will begin receiving a paycheck. By creating a powerful resume, not only will you land a job faster, but your resume can also be used to position you to earn a higher salary in the future. You can represent yourself as someone with higher earning potential through the way you use job titles and define your skills and expertise on your resume.

If you receive a job offer from an employer, the salary offered will be based on how the employer values you, and that will be based on your resume and your interview. When an employer offers you a job and then proposes a salary or compensation package, that offer will be based mainly on the employer's bottom line—not on how much an employer likes you as a person.

Every employer typically has a salary range to offer someone filling a specific position within his or her organization. The low and high ends of this range can be several thousands of dollars apart.Additionally, there are various negotiable benefits. Based on your educational background, proven skills, and work history, an employer decides how much of an asset you can be to his or her organization and determines where your salary should fall within the predetermined range.

If the employer thinks you're simply qualified to fulfill the responsibilities of the job, you will be offered a salary that's on the lower end of the range. In the future, you may receive raises once you've proven your skills, but you will start out earning less money than you would had you proved yourself a more valuable candidate early on, both on paper and in person.

If you're perceived to be more than qualified, because you have proven skills the employer wants, plus you're able to demonstrate your ability to quickly take on additional responsibilities, the employer will value you more. As a result, your chances of being offered a salary that's on the high side of the range is much more likely.

One of the roles of your resume, once it captures the employer's attention, is to showcase you as a valuable asset to whomever you will work for. As someone reads your resume, he or she should easily see how your skills and experience can be immediately put to good use within his or her organization.

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