Resume Software Makes the Whole Resume-Writing Process Easier (page 2)
AFTER YOU HAVE decided what you want to say on your resume and determined the best way to say it, one of the most time-consuming aspects of creating your resume will be actually formatting and laying it out on the page, especially if you're using a word processor. To make your resume look professional, you will have to deal with issues like tabs, line spacing, margins, and font sizes. There are, however, several ways to make the formatting process much easier and less time-consuming.
Microsoft Word comes with a pre-defined resume template you can use to assist in the formatting of your resume. If you already use Microsoft Word, this chapter will walk you through the resume-formatting process using this powerful word processor.
Aside from general-purpose word processors, there are a handful of off-the-shelf software packages designed specifically for creating, formatting, and printing resumes. These packages are available wherever software is sold, and some can be purchased and downloaded off the Internet.
Priced between $19.95 and $39.95, some of the more powerful resume-creation software packages are designed to assist you in virtually every aspect of your job-search process. For example, some have built-in contact management applications (for keeping track of potential employers) and an appointment book application (to handle the scheduling of interviews). Some packages are compatible with the various career-related websites and will automatically find the best job opportunities for you and help you apply for those jobs online.
Several of the resume-creation software packages also have built-in tutorials designed to help you prepare for your interviews, do company research, create your resume, and write cover letters. Thus, in addition to using the Internet as a powerful job-search tool, your computer can help you create highly professional printed and electronic resumes.
Before you decide to use any resume software, be sure to do a bit of research. You will be investing a significant amount of money into the development of your resume, so you will want to make sure that the software is all it's cracked up to be. Your resume is your most important marketing tool. Be a proactive force and don't leave your future up to chance!
—EMILIA, EXECUTIVE MANAGER
This chapter offers information about several of the popular Windows-based resume-creation software packages available that run on PC-based computers. If you plan on creating your own resume from scratch, investing in any of these packages will save you time, plus help you keep your entire job search well organized. If you are using a Macintosh computer, try Printshop Publishing Suite from Mindscape.
Web Resume Writer
PRICE: $19.95 PUBLISHER: eInternet Studios WEBSITE: www.web-resume.org
This resume-creation software package is available for purchase online only. Web Resume Writer is compatible with Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XPand is designed to make producing printed or electronic resumes easier. When using this program, you will have total control over your resume's layout, appearance, and structure. The software is powerful, yet its point-and-click interface is designed for people who aren't too computer literate. To help ensure your resume has the most impact, a spell checker and the ability to ultimately export your resume file into Microsoft Office applications (including Word) is provided.
To enhance the software's usefulness, the built-in contact management application will help you maintain a detailed database of potential employers and the contact people at each company. From this contact management module, it's possible to instantly send e-mail with attached resume and cover letter files.
As you create your resume using this software, you will be prompted to enter information for one section at a time, beginning with the heading. You can then choose which sections to include on your resume and enter the appropriate information into each section. The software has nine popular resume sections, including: Biographical Data, Purpose Narratives, Educational History, Employment History, Honors/Awards, Organizations, Skill Areas, Publications, and References.
Once the resume content is entered, you can begin experimenting with the layout, appearance, and organization of your resume. The final product can be printed, saved, exported to a word processor, or saved in HTML format with embedded hyperlinks.
ResumeMaker® Professional 12.0
PRICE: $29.95 PUBLISHER: Individual Software 800-822-3522 WEBSITE: www.individualsoftware.com
This Windows-based software offers a complete set of integrated applications designed specifically for job seekers. In addition to helping you create a powerful paper-based or electronic resume, ResumeMaker allows you to easily tap the power of the Web (if you have access from the same computer on which you will have the program).
The software is compatible with 90 of the Web's most popular career-related sites and is designed to help you find the best job opportunities based on your search criteria and then apply for those jobs online using an automated process. The software also features a contact manager, designed to help you keep track of each potential employer and the contacts at each company.
ResumeMaker walks you through the entire resume and cover letter creation process using step-by-step directions that involve entering text into pop-up dialog boxes that prompt you for specific information. As you enter this text, the software even recommends appropriate wording by allowing you to access a listing of action verbs and other powerful phrases. With the click of the mouse, you can switch between popular resume formats, plus obtain advice as to which format best suits your personal needs. The software's resume database allows you to see professionally created resumes suitable for a wide range of job seekers, whether you're a recent graduate with little or no work experience, or someone actively pursuing one of 1,000 different careers.
The Virtual Interview feature contains tutorials and expert advice designed to help job seekers prepare for their job interviews and then negotiate the best possible salary and compensation package when the time comes for these discussions.
ResumeMaker is available for download from the company's website or can be purchased from software retailers nationwide. While the software is particularly useful for someone new to the whole job-search process, it can save anyone considerable time when it comes to creating, printing, and distributing resumes and cover letters.
WinWay Resume Deluxe 11.0
PRICE: $39.95 PUBLISHER: WinWay Corporation 800-4-WINWAY WEBSITE: www.winway.com
This Windows-based software package also offers ease of use (even if you're not highly computer skilled) along with a wide range of features for job seekers. In addition to offering useful modules, WinWay Resume Deluxe 11.0 can be integrated with the Web, making it easier to pinpoint job opportunities and apply for them online.
The AutoWriter feature allows you to choose from over 100,000 job-specific phrases, keywords, and action verbs designed to add power and impact to your resume as you create it. There's also a large database of sample resumes and tutorials to use when creating a resume for virtually any job title in any industry.
Once an electronic version of your resume is created using this software, you can easily go online and have the software post your resume to dozens of popular resume databases. Simply input your state and job title. Specific resume-creation templates have been designed for people:
- Applying for entry-level positions
- Applying for middle management-level positions
- Applying for executive-level positions
- Changing careers
- Hoping to advance their career within the same industry
- With a negative employment history
- Who have a history of changing jobs often
Once your resume is complete, the Letter AutoWriter will walk you through the cover letter writing and creation process, allowing you to create documents that are synergistic in look and content with your resume.
By taking advantage of your computer's multimedia capabilities, sound, video, and graphics are used to offer tutorials and career-related advice. Upon creating your resume and cover letter, the software's contact management module can be used for keeping track of the potential employers you contact.
WinWay Resume Deluxe 11.0 features easy-to-use mail merge capabilities, so the information within your contact manager can be easily incorporated into your cover letter, and other parts of your resume package. Using the e-mail features, sending electronic versions of your resume is a snap, since the Contact Management module allows you to store e-mail addresses as well as fax numbers and mailing addresses.
No matter which format of printed resume you create using WinWay Resume Deluxe 11.0, it will be created in a style that makes it scannable by applicant-tracking software used by many medium-and large-size employers. The Fit To One Page feature ensures that your resume content automatically gets formatted to fit on a single printed page. To add a touch of your own creativity, the software allows you to take advantage of built-in themes, typestyles, fonts, graphics, bullets, and borders.
WinWay Resume Deluxe 11.0 can be purchased and downloaded directly from the company's website or is available nationwide from software retailers.
Just because a resume-creation software package is designed to work in conjunction with one or more of the popular career-related websites, as a job seeker, you must continue to do your own research, networking, and legwork to pinpoint the best job openings available. Tapping the Web for job listings and employment ads should be just one of your methods for finding job opportunities. Remember, a huge percentage of job openings are never advertised.
True Careers® and ResumeEdge
PRICE: $39.95 PUBLISHER: True Careers WEBSITE: www.careercity.com
This website offers a variety of resume-writing services. The most basic (and least expensive!) helps you create an ASCII or electronic resume that you can post to job boards or e-mail to employers that do not accept attachments. This pared-down resume style includes no fonts, graphics, or special characters; instead, it emphasizes content and is scanner friendly. In addition, as part of this service, the company combines the content of your new electronic resume with its professional Web layouts to create a compelling Internet-based resume located at the company's Web address. The company will return to you an electronic, ASCII, or Web resume within 48 hours of your providing your resume information.
The site offers a step-by-step resume builder that requires you to provide your name, e-mail address, and city and state before setting up the account. The wizard then requires you to enter your employment history and skills. The wizard is simple to use, and the resultant resume is simple yet professional looking.
Other features of the website include job searches and alerts, career articles (providing useful information on interview tips, salary negotiation, career advice, etc), sample resumes and cover letters, and links to an expert resume-writing service (ResumeEdge.com).
ResumeEdge.com has certified resume writers and offers a personal telephone interview, a free Web resume, and a fast turnaround of 72 hours. The services offered vary from editing resumes $119.95 (with cover letter $179.95) to resume writing $139.95 (with cover letter $199.95).
The site offers a step-by-step resume builder that requires you to provide your name, e-mail address, and city and state before setting up the account. The wizard then requires you to enter your employment history, education history, and skills. The wizard is simple to use, and the resultant resume is simple yet professional looking.
The Right Resume
PRICE: $29.95 PUBLISHER: Whirlwind Technologies WEBSITE: email@example.com
Using this Windows-based software, you can create your choice of a chronological, functional, or targeted resume, plus store information for up to ten employers. The Right Resume uses a basic, yet functional word processor for creating cover letters, customizing your resume, and executing the mail merge feature for group mailings. Users can also generate different resumes easily and quickly from one data source without having to retype. Modifying or customizing a resume is a quick and easy task with this software.
Additional features include a 50,000+ word spell checker, a contact management database for tracking potential employers, a calendar for scheduling interview appointments, a mail merge feature for generating multiple personalized letters from one main document, and a power words list that can be accessed to add meaning and impact when creating your documents.
You can download an evaluation version of the software (with some of the print features deactivated) from the company's website for free. If you like the software, you can register it for $29.95 and print out your resume and cover letter documents.
As you formulate your resume, be sure to show the results you achieved at your last job—"during this time profits reached an all-time high"—that kind of thing. Your potential employer will be impressed by the fact that you have something to show for all your hard work. An economy of words is crucial as well. Use power words and phrases to succinctly highlight your accomplishments.
—JULIAN, DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC PLANNING
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