Resume & Career Advice

November 22, 2010

Resume Writing with Zero Work Experience

Finding a Job With No Work Experience

Can you get a job with no work experience?

People have the mistaken notion that a resume should be made up mostly of work experience. This becomes a problem when someone without any work experience tries to write a resume to get his first job. With almost nothing to write, should he just list his education, address, and phone number, and hope he gets a call?

Creating a resume is like making an advertisement for yourself. If you’ve worked for a couple of big name companies, then those could be your best selling points. However, they are not the only details that would get an employer to buy. If you have no work experience, you could instead write something about your academic life. Put the clubs you’ve joined or led. If you took electives that relate to the job you’re applying for, then that would work too. You could also include your academic achievements or awards. If you are a member of the student council or have won competitions, you may list those as well.

Outside school, you might be involved in volunteer work or community groups, which you could also write in your resume. If you have completed certifications or trainings—especially those in connection with your potential job—then those would also be beneficial. If you maintain a blog or have put up a website, you could write that too. That doesn’t end there. You can even include certain abilities that relate to the job. Find out what the employer is looking for, and write in your resume how your character and qualities answer that call.

Nevertheless, your resume shouldn’t look like a jumbled list of everything you’ve done since you were thirteen. List down everything you can—following the suggestions above—and pick the “experiences” that relate most to the job you want. The fact that you were a hit on karaoke night would not exactly help you get the attention of potential employers. Determine which ones actually show that you’re the perfect fit for the person the company is looking for, and illustrate them in your resume using experiences that you might not have been paid for, but you have definitely learned something from. You may have no work experience, but these experiences would certainly work too.

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September 6, 2010

Advanced Resume Writing: Using the Organizational Message Chart

Employing Organizational Message Chart in Resume Writing

Is your resume as organized as a well-structured organization?

Everyone has seen an organizational chart.  It is a diagram that shows the structure and hierarchy of a company, usually with the president in a box on top, then the rest of the chain of command under him or her.  The chart is particularly helpful for employees to determine who to tell if they mess up, or in some cases, if their boss messes up.  Career Coach Jay Block, however, found an ingenious application of the organizational chart: in writing resumes .

Mainly outlined in his excellent book, 101 Best Resumes to Sell Yourself, Block explains that a resume should have one core message and six to eight supporting messages that basically answer one question, “What can I do for the company I am applying for?”  He refers to the core message as the “presidential message,” obviously referring to the top of the chart, then pinpoints the rest of the positions in the “hierarchy of messages.”

First and foremost—just like the head of an organizational chart—the presidential message answers the question, “Why should the company hire me?”  Then, just as in the organizational chart, there are “vice presidential messages” and “support messages” that “support, defend, and complement the presidential message,” through highlighting your skills, abilities, qualifications, and credentials.  There also are “value-added messages” that show the employer that you have something to offer that goes beyond the job requirements.

Aside from making your resume appear, well, organized, the Organizational Message Chart helps you determine your best and unique selling points to the employer.  Constructing one would help you make better resumes, and soon enough, the number of job interviews you are invited to would be off the charts.

May 10, 2010

Dos and Don’ts in Resume Writing

Filed under: Resume — chris2010 @ 4:12 PM
Tags: , , , ,

Resume writing is your way of marketing and selling yourself on paper. You would want your qualifications to primarily catch the attention of employers and then show them later in greater detail how well-suited you are to the requirements. Though very promising as you may be, the way you present your credentials largely determines your chances of getting hired. Hence, it is a must that you become well-aware of the dos and don’ts in resume writing.

Dos:

  • Write the resume according to the requirements of your desired position. You must show your employers how exactly fit and right you are for the job. While you may recycle your resume for other positions, make sure to employ the necessary adjustments with each different application.
  • Be informative but concise. On an average, employers spend only 22 seconds scanning and digesting pieces of your resume information which they find interesting. Use bullets instead of complete sentences. Choose your words wisely, indicate numbers for achievements, and incorporate keywords that create impact.
  • Proofread your resume more than once, and have others proofread it too. All information in a resume must always be accurate and correctly presented. Find out from other people if your manner of presenting facts is simple and clear enough even to someone with a different background from yours.

Don’ts:

  • Do not ever lie in your resume. Although you may remove some information which are irrelevant to the position you’re applying for, exaggerated facts will surely rob your chances of being hired; or if not, haunt you later when you suddenly cannot meet expectations built on false credentials.
  • Do not employ your own version of a resume format. Although variations in styles exist, there are established basics and standards that must be adhered to in all forms of resume writing. A resume must capture the employers’ attention but never confuse them or lead them to doubt your ability of writing a good resume.
  • Do not take your resume for granted. Do not rush. Do not use a quirky email address like cute_guy@yahoo.com or sexy_girl@gmail.com lest you want to be misinterpreted as someone not serious about your job application.

Above are only some of the major points that must be noted in resume writing. There are countless other reminders that will ensure building a good resume and which are well-known by professional resume writers. Nevertheless, a job applicant must always be aware of how to present his worth in a resume, which will all be recalled after his resume is selected – during the job interview.

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