Resume Software Makes the Whole Resume-Writing Process Easier (page 5)
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
Creating a Resume Using Microsoft Word
The Resume Wizard, along with the pre-defined resume templates built into Microsoft Word, are designed to make it easier for users to write and format their resumes using this popular word processing software. A Wizard is a program within Word that simplifies a complex task by asking you questions and formatting a document based on your answers. The Wizard dialogue window has four buttons at the bottom that you use to move between steps or to exit the Wizard: Cancel, Back, Next, and Finish. Unless you cancel or finish, you can go back at any point to a prior step.
If using Word 97 or Word 2000, start the Resume Wizard by selecting "New" under the File pull-down menu. This brings up a window with multiple tabs. Select the "Other Documents" tab. Within that interface, icons for several different templates and Wizards will appear. Scroll down and then double-click on the Resume Wizard icon.
The regular Word screen will appear, with a new window, called Resume Wizard, in the center of the screen. This Wizard allows you to create a resume template that's custom tailored to your personal needs. To continue, click the Next button at the bottom right of this window.
The Resume Wizard window will ask you to select a resume style. Your three main options will be:
You will see thumbnail previews of what each resume format looks like on the screen. Using the mouse, click the resume format of your choice and then click the Next button at the bottom to move on to the next step.
You will next be asked, "Which type of resume would you like to create?" Your options will include:
- Entry-Level Resume
- Chronological Resume
- Functional Resume
- Professional Resume
Click on your choice and again click the Next button to move on. You will next be prompted to enter your name, address, and the other information for the heading section of your resume. Within this window, enter the following information in the corresponding fields:
- Your Name
- Mailing Address
- Phone Number
- Fax Number
- E-mail Address
Once this information is entered in the provided areas, proceed to the next step. The Wizard will present a list of sections and will ask which ones you want to include on your resume. You can change the actual name for each section later. The following prompt will appear within the Resume Wizard window: The resume style you've chosen usually includes these headings. Select check boxes for the headings you want. The choices of sections vary based on the resume format you chose. If you chose the entry-level resume, you can select from:
- Awards received
- Interests and activities
- Work experience
- Volunteer experience
The list will differ if you told the Wizard to create a chronological, functional, or professional resume. Place a check by clicking on the box next to the resume sections you wish to include. When you're done, click the Next button at the bottom of the Resume Wizard window to move to the next step.
The Resume Wizard will next prompt you saying, These headings are sometimes included in this type of resume. Select check boxes for headings you want. Once again, use the mouse to select the additional resume sections you'd like to include within your resume. If you're creating an entry-level resume, your options might include:
- Extracurricular activities
- Summer jobs
- Summary of qualifications
- Community activities
- Professional memberships
- Accreditations and licenses
- Patents and publications
- Civil service grades
- Security clearance
The list will differ for chronological, functional, and professional resumes.
If you choose not to include any of these sections, simply don't add check marks next to any of the options. When you're ready to continue, click the Next button at the bottom of the Resume Wizard window.
Next you can add any customized resume sections that weren't already included within the template and re-order or remove headings. Near the top of the Resume Wizard window, you will be asked: Are there any additional headings you would like to add to your resume? There is a text field right below this prompt where you can type in any additional headings. Click the Add button after entering each one.
You will next see a list of the resume sections you've already selected to include within your resume. You can change the order of this list from this screen by selecting any of the headings (click on the heading in the list and it will become highlighted) and clicking on the Move Up or Move Down buttons. You will have to use the up and down scroll-bar buttons to read the list. You can also remove any of the sections by clicking on the Remove button once the heading to be deleted is highlighted. When all of your resume sections are present in the list and in the desired order, click the Next button to proceed.
The Wizard now has enough information to format the resume and a customized resume template is now created. To complete this process, click on the Finish icon located at the bottom of the Resume Wizard window.
You will now be returned to the main Microsoft Word screen. The open document will be your customized resume template. You can now fill it in with content. Using the mouse or directional arrows, go through each line of the resume and type your personalized information within each section. The computer will automatically format what you type so that it fits within the resume style.
Also appearing on the Word screen will be the Microsoft Office Assistant, an animated character, which probably looks like a paper clip with eyes (this is a default option that you can change). Using this assistant, you will be given the following options:
- Add a cover letter (which opens another template)
- Change the visual style of the resume (you can switch between Professional, Contemporary, or Elegant)
- Shrink to fit (adjusts the type size, spacing, and margins so that your resume information fits nicely on an 8½-by-11-inch page)
- Send resume to someone (you can automatically e-mail or fax your resume)
- Get help on something else
If you don't want to take advantage of these options from the Office Assistant, click on the Cancel button in the dialogue bubble that appears near the paper-clip character.
Once you've entered all of the information within the resume template, you can save the document just as you would any other Word document. Move the cursor to the File pull-down menu and click on the Save option. You can then enter a filename and choose the file format in which you want your resume saved. The default option is in Word format, but you can also save the file in Text Rich Format, Text Only Format (ASCII), formats compatible with older versions of Word, or as a WordPerfect file. Printing the document is as easy as selecting the Print option from the File pull-down menu.
Using Word's Resume Wizard, you can also print matching envelopes and cover letters to accompany your resume. Once your resume is complete, you can take the document created in Word and edit or further customize it by changing the font, type size, or other visual details. You can download additional Word templates by visiting the Microsoft website (www.microsoft.com). These templates give you greater flexibility when creating your resume and cover letters.
If you decide to create a resume that contains multiple pages, access the View pull-down menu and select the Header and Footer options. This will allow you to customize the information to appear in the top or bottom margins on subsequent resume pages.
PRICE: $199.95 PUBLISHER: Symantec Corporation WEBSITE: www.symantec.com
If using Microsoft Word (or another popular word processor) to create your resume, ACT! 2000, one of the best contact management and scheduling software packages on the market, can also be used to make your whole job search easier.
ACT! 2000 integrates with word processors, such as Microsoft Word. As a job seeker, you can create your resume and cover letters in Word (using the Resume Wizard or creating the documents from scratch). Next, create a database using ACT! containing all of your potential employers (including their names, addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers, e-mail addresses, notes, etc.). Using ACT! 2000's mail merge, you can then send out mass mailings via U.S. mail, fax, or e-mail with ease.
Because notes can be added to each person or company within your ACT! database, you can keep track of exactly when your resume was sent, to whom it was sent, what other enclosures you included, and the specific job for which you applied. You can also add all of your company-related research to your ACT! records.
Later, when someone from a company contacts you about an interview, you will have your notes available at your fingertips. You can also schedule your interview using ACT! and add notes about what was discussed on the phone into the contact person's ACT! database record.
Once you land a job, ACT! 2000 is an incredible tool that can be used in your professional life to help you keep track of all your contacts, appointments, written correspondences, and e-mails. People working in a wide range of jobs, in virtually all industries, have found ACT! to be an incredible time management and organizational tool. A free trial version of the software can be obtained from Symantec's website.
Who Needs Resume-Creation Software?
If creating your own resume from scratch, whether it'll be printed, e-mailed, or faxed, using resume-creation software helps you create and format your resume faster. Any of these software packages will also allow you to quickly make changes to your resume so that it can be customized for each job for which you ultimately apply.
Using resume-creation software is designed to save you time formatting your resume and making it look nice, but none of these packages can write your resume for you or choose the best format and wording to meet your personal needs. Thus, there's no short cut for spending the necessary time to determine what information about yourself belongs on your resume and then determining the best way to convey that information so it has the greatest impact on potential employers. The questionnaire offered within Chapter 2 continues to be important, as are the exercises in Chapter 4 that help you create the content of your resume.
Just because the software allows you to create a visually impressive resume, the content of your resume is still your responsibility to create. It's ultimately the content of your resume that needs to pique the interest of the reader, so what you say has to have an impact. It also needs to be catered to what you believe the employer is looking for in terms of qualifications, skills, and experience.
In the following interview, Erez Carmel, vice president of marketing for WinWay Corporation, explains some of the reasons why job seekers should purchase and use resume-writing software when embarking on a job search.
Why should someone use resume-creation software?
EREZ CARMEL: Why do actors, athletes, and other high-profile celebrities use an agent to represent them? Because an agent knows how to market their talent, and marketing talent is a unique skill all by itself. Yes, anybody can write a resume, but will it make them look as good as it should? This is where WinWay Resume comes in. Our software provides the content and the format for the resume, and makes sure you do not miss anything that could make you look good to an employer.
For example, you may write in your resume, "I managed a store, hired and fired employees, and explained the products to the customers." If you use the AutoWriter feature of WinWay Resume, your resume is more likely to read "I managed the most profitable store in the chain, had the lowest employee turnover rate, and made sure that each and every customer that came to the store was fully satisfied before they left." Wouldn't you think that this will make an employer more likely to invite you for an interview?
What does this type of software help someone do that a standard word processor can't?
WinWay Resume gives you the content and the format for your resume. A word processor gives you a blank sheet and you have to add both content and format. Yes, you can use a word processor to write your resume, but will it have the right content? Will it put your best foot forward? WinWay Resume makes sure you will look your best and have the best chance of getting the job.
What are some of the key features of WinWay that set it apart from other resume-creation software products?
WinWay Resume contains more than 12,000 sample resumes, catering to thousands of professions, ready to work for the job seeker. Whether you are an architect, a nurse, an accountant, or a zoologist, your resume is already in there. We wrote it! To access these resumes, select File, Open Sample, then choose More Samples, and enter a few keywords describing your profession. You will get a long list of resume samples in the appropriate professions.
What type of job seeker will benefit most from using your software?
Any job seeker will benefit from it because it will make their job search quicker and more efficient. I think any job seeker would love to get a higher-paying, more satisfying job faster.
How long does it take for someone to create a powerful resume using your software?
It depends on the number of past jobs that you will want to describe. A typical one-page resume can be created in about ten minutes. However, I would recommend users spend a lot more time using our AutoWriter feature to make each and every phrase as powerful as it can be.
How much computer knowledge is needed to use your software?
The software only requires basic computer skills. If you can use a mouse and a keyboard, you can use WinWay Resume.
What are some of the common resume-creation mistakes that someone can avoid by using your software?
By far, the most common mistake is describing job duties rather than accomplishments. If an employer is looking for an accountant, he or she takes it for granted that you can add and subtract numbers. What will make you get the job is showing the unique value that you added to the organization [past employers] through your innovation and creativity.
The AutoWriter feature of WinWay Resume offers you "fill-in-the-blank" phrases that are structured to highlight accomplishments rather than duties alone. We have also seen resumes that contain information that does not really belong in a resume, such as age, marital status, and other information that employers are not allowed to consider when making a hiring decision. Also, we have seen many resumes with spelling errors and inconsistent format. WinWay Resume helps avoid all these problems and creates a resume that will give you a better chance of getting the job.
What tips can you offer to someone creating a resume using your software?
WinWay Resume contains an incredible amount of multimedia content to help job seekers prepare for their job searches. There are numerous videos on topics from choosing the right paper and font to how to dress for an interview. There is also interview simulation in full-motion video with answers to more than 200 most commonly asked questions. We recommend that if job seekers can afford the time, they should watch all the videos first so they get first-hand understanding of what employers are looking for and how to best address the employer's needs in their resumes and cover letters. They should also use the online job search features of WinWay Resume to look at job ads in their areas and see what employers are looking for. At that point, they will be prepared to write their own resume, and make that person's resume really stand out from the rest.
Even if someone uses your software, what work/research will he or she still need to do in order to create a powerful resume?
WinWay Resume has everything you need to create the resume and get the job. However, we advise that before you send the resume, you talk to your references and prepare them for the possibility that somebody will call and ask about you. You should make sure they remember all the nice things you have done, and are willing and able to answer questions about you.
Anyone going through the whole job-search process, from finding job opportunities, submitting resumes, interviewing, and everything else that landing a new job entails, will definitely find using resume-creation software (or Microsoft Word combined with ACT! 2000) to be extremely helpful.
You'll want to adjust your deportment to the particular situation, but it usually doesn't hurt to smile a lot and generally act like a person that other people want to work with. If you got an interview, they probably feel good about your technical abilities; now you have to sell the "sizzle" as much as the steak. Be ready to get into the nitty-gritty also, and if you haven't had much interview experience, get a friend to dry-run it with you. Get a book of interviewing questions and do some practicing.
—HANK, SYSTEMS INTEGRATOR
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