Thursday, July 10, 2008

Resume writing 101

Writing a resume can be pure torture for some people. I know as I see it every day through my functions as Job Liaison officer for Enterprise Miramichi. Through my role, I help people develop their resumes, help with the job search process or their interview skills through one-on-one visits, workshops, or classroom instruction, as I also teach a course entitled Employment Strategies at the New Brunswick Community College of Miramichi to various students from different programs. When I help individuals with their resumes, I have noticed that the common comment that resurfaces through the exercise is that they feel uncomfortable talking about themselves.

In fact, most people tell me that a resume seems to be about bragging; my answer to that is yes it is. If you cannot market yourself in a positive manner, who will do it for you? Your resume is one of the most important documents you possess as it is a true and factual reflection of your skills, abilities, attributes, education and experience. It gives the prospective employer a "snapshot" as to who you are. And when I say "snapshot", that means keep it short. That is another aspect of the resume that some people struggle with. They feel that if this important document is only one to two pages, it will leave out all the crucial elements they want the employer to know. So they opt to write a mini-novel instead. Now, considering the fact that it takes only, in average, 10 seconds for an employer to scan a resume, the first impression they get when seeing a mini-novel is usually not that great. Rest assured that the mini-novel will probably end up in the shredder most often than not.

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