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How do I Write a Professional Resume?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2016
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Whether you are just beginning your job search or are looking to switch careers, a professional resume is invaluable. Your resume is the first chance to make a good impression on potential employers, so you need to create the best resume you possibly can.

The first and most basic rule to remember when creating a professional resume is that it should be concise. Keep the resume to one or two pages -- if it is longer than two pages, you need to consolidate the information and put it in a quick and easy-to-read format. The resume should also be free of any grammatical or spelling errors. Have someone check your resume for you, or you can send it to a professional service if you want to be certain.

Most professionals recommend using "action statements" when writing a professional resume. This means that when writing descriptions of previous work you have done, begin the statement with an action word -- such a word might be "initiated," "developed," "provided," etc., depending of course on what you did day to day. Describe the work you did and the positive results of said work. As opposed to simply writing lists of your responsibilities, action statements demonstrate the actual work you performed and paint the picture of a more motivated individual.

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As much as possible, a professional resume should be tailored for the job for which you are applying. Detail the skills and qualifications you have that you will bring to the company -- remember, they are not doing you a favor by hiring you. You should be able to clearly illustrate how you will benefit the company and what specific talents you will bring to the position. Be sure to include any extra abilities you have, such as the ability to speak a second language.

Register a professional e-mail address for yourself, which should be as close to your first and last name as possible. If you anticipate potential employers calling your home phone or cell phone, make sure your voicemail message is equally professional. Remember that creating a professional resume that is neat, clean, concise and informative is the first indication to your potential employer that you are a professional person. If your resume has multiple errors and seems messy or irrelevant, it is highly unlikely that an employer will still take the time to meet with you in person.

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Discuss this Article

John57
Post 4

How much does it cost for a professional resume service?

I have always typed up my own resume, but it seems like the rules are always changing. I also want a resume that is cutting edge and feel like mine is pretty plain.

I have heard that someone can usually tell within the first second they look at a resume if they are going to read the whole thing or not.

There has to be something that really sticks out, or very specific things they are looking for in order for your resume to get noticed.

I think doing your homework on the company you are applying for can help when it comes to the action

words you use.

Job hunting can be a very frustrating experience. I am to the point where I would be willing to spend the extra money for someone to help me with a professional resume. I just don't have any idea how much something like this would cost.

SarahSon
Post 3

Whether you hire someone to help you with your resume, or you do it yourself, I think it is important to be able to edit your resume easily.

Many times you will want to tailor certain aspects of your resume to the job you are applying for.

There are many professional resume formats you can use that will allow you to do this. I also try to keep my resume updated on a continual basis.

I use a professional resume template that I keep on my computer at all times. It is very easy for me to edit my resume as I see fit and send it out on the spur of the moment if I need to.

You never know when you are going to come across an opportunity. If your resume is ready to go, you don't have to spend the time getting it prepared.

honeybees
Post 2

There is a lot of competition in today's job market. Many times there will be hundreds or even thousands of applicants for one open job position.

I think that hiring a professional resume writer is well worth the investment. There is an old saying that says, 'You never get a second chance to make a first impression'.

That is certainly true when it comes to a resume. With the competition being so strong, you need a resume that is not only free from errors, but also stands out in a positive way.

Many people will say they can't afford to hire someone to help them write their resume, but if they really need a job, I would say they can't afford not to hire someone.

bagley79
Post 1

I work in the Human Resources department of a large hospital, and there are a lot of resumes that come across my desk.

Even with all of the free professional resume samples that are available online, I am surprised by the poor quality of many of the resumes I see.

Those are the ones that stick out like a sore thumb and don't get much attention. Another thing that I am constantly surprised at are the number of misspelled words I find on a resume.

With spell check being a part of most word processing programs, there is really no reason for this.

If someone is really serious about finding a job, their resume should be good quality, grammatically correct and free of spelling errors.

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