Resume & Career Advice

June 13, 2011

What You Need to Know About Resume Designs and Styles

Resume Design

Are you taking advantage of the right resume design?

It is true— resume is an art. However, resume should not look like the text version of a Pablo Picasso work. Resume should look professional, symmetric, clean while being distinctive and appealing.

Just like art, form should follow function. Always keep in mind that the main role and function of resume is to serve as a marketing tool for job seekers. Therefore, the structure and design of the resume should highlight the applicant’s qualifications. How is this done? When establishing sections, employ the F-Pattern, which is the way most people read— start from the upper left hand side move to the right, down, then to the right again. Important information and stronger experience should come first. When you are still a level-entry professional, you should place the ‘education’ section first before the ‘professional experience.’

Use only 2 font styles at maximum. Don’t be too colorful. Avoid using red, green, pink, yellow and orange. Font size should not exceed 12 and not be smaller than 10. Observe the importance of white spaces. This is accomplished by providing a distinct space between sections. Margins should not be more than 1” from all sides and should not be less than .5” White spaces are breathing spaces. Choose white, thick and unscented paper, preferably letter-size or A4 size.

In order to make your resume stand out, you may try to come up with personalized logos and experiment with font size, lines and background hues. The tricky part is how to make the design appropriate to the industry. Research, research, research. However, if the challenge is very tough, it is always a good investment to let a professional make a personalized and professional-looking resume for you.

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January 17, 2011

Writing a Résumé for Jobs in the Healthcare Industry

Health Care Jobs

Are you ready for a healthcare job this 2011?

Reliable job-watch and career websites seem to agree that the Healthcare Industry will prove to be an industry of most number of and best employment opportunities in the year 2011. According to AOL Jobs, the top 10 most secure jobs in 2011 are: (1) nurse, (2) physical therapist, (3) pharmacist, (4) physician and surgeon, (5) computer systems analyst and administrator, (6) computer software engineer, (7) biomedical and environmental engineer, (8) accountant, auditor and financial advisor, (9) veterinarian, and 10) lawyer, paralegal and legal assistant. Ranked top are healthcare related jobs. The U.S. News Money Career says that “Healthcare continues to offer excellent opportunities for job seekers, and not only positions that require a medical degree. Occupations that call for fewer years of study and offer more moderate salaries are also in demand”— what could these news mean? Healthcare jobs are in demand this year.

To land a healthcare job requires a résumé that is formatted towards the healthcare industry. Generic résumés will NOT be of much help. It is highly important for an applicant to identify which healthcare job he or she is applying for. Knowing the specific position to apply for is like the guiding line on how to construct the résumé. A doctor’s résumé should not sound like a résumé of a nurse.

Make sure to highlight pertinent professional skills that are required in the healthcare professional. These professional skills and strengths should also be termed in the jargon highly accepted and used within the healthcare industry. Examples of strengths that must be highlighted are: Knowledge of medical terminologies; Nursing Aptitude— Neonatal, Medical Surgical, OR and ER. Use jargons according to relevance. Present background and work experiences that are relevant to positioned being applied for.

For those who are applying for entry-level positions, they should supply educational information first, especially if there are healthcare related, before presenting non-industry related work experience. Entry-level applicants and career changers/shifters may find it very challenging to identify their strengths and experiences that would allow good transition towards the healthcare industry. Professional help is always a good option.

July 19, 2010

Overcoming Challenges in Resume Writing

Write your resume with great care. Dealing with resume challenges determines whether you will get hired or rejected.

Are you endlessly working on a sample resume to make every detail right?

It has been said – and proven – time and again that a resume can make or break a job seeker’s fate. While there are numerous websites and books on how to write a resume, these can only do so much as guide the job seeker. Most don’t capture the reality that many have to work around with such as lack of work experience, employment gaps, or lack of consistency in industry.

The good thing is that it is now widely accepted how no one resume template will work for everyone. Customizing a resume is thus recommended. So if you lack work experience, you can skip that section altogether and instead feature your educational accomplishments, your on-the-job training, or seminars and skills training you have attended. And if you have gaps in your employment history, it will be best for you to skip chronology and instead order your work experience either by job description or skills. Similarly, if you have worked for different industries, you can also simply group your jobs by job description or skills. In all cases, you must not hide these facts from your prospective employer and in fact provide an explanation for them through your cover letter.

If you are clear about what you would like to do with your resume, however – switch careers, switch industries, land a first job, or seek promotion within the same field – there are a number of resume templates that you can explore. For instance, switching careers will be best achieved with a functional resume, which highlights your skills while seeking promotion will be best facilitated with a performance resume, which gives emphasis on your duties and accomplishments.

So don’t forget: challenges in resume writing are only as strong as your purpose and resourcefulness are weak. When faced with them, it is best to explore different kinds of resume templates as well as customize these in ways that emphasizes your employability. Resumes are supposed to represent you, and no guidebook should ruin that.

June 28, 2010

Common Errors and Misconceptions in Resume Writing (The Overconfident Resume)

A job seeker sits proud as a potential employer reviews her job resume.

How should you stand out in the job market – appropriately?

Writing a resume could be considered as a starting point for anyone who is about to launch his or her career. As much as possible, job seekers would want to include all information that speaks off nothing but admiration about themselves. But too much information becomes a common pitfall in resume writing and instead of impressing; would-be employer would only regard the applicant as someone who is only full of his or herself.

There are numerous instances when applicants tend to include information that are not pertinent anymore to the job they are applying for. Examples of these are the overwhelming entries into the “work experience” subheadings and a long enumerated list of skills. Everyone would always want to be regarded as someone well-accomplished and well-skilled but bombarding a resume with unnecessary entries makes it unfocused. It should be considered that a resume serves as a checklist that would mirror a hundred percent match between the applicant and the requirements of the job vacancy.

Aside from overflowing information, applicants try to put elements in their resume that might catch the fancy of an employer. Such tactic involves the use of an intricate layout and diverse font faces. A good layout could catch the attention of an employer granted that it is done by someone who has a sound background as regards design. But to those who do not have any idea at all in what they are doing, it is best for them to stick to the basics of resume writing.

Any useless information and complicated designs produce clutter. Be aware that hiring managers tend to scan through resumes for the reason that they could not afford to read entirely every paper submitted to them.

The best resume writing tips that could be given in order to avoid an over confident resume include minimizing the pages to two; highlighting important achievements, experiences, and skills that are pertinent to the job vacancy; and picking up a predefined template from resume writing examples found over the Internet.

An overconfident resume speaks of nothing but of a conceited applicant. While the lack of confidence always endangers applicants, too much of it is nevertheless the same.

May 17, 2010

How to Write a Competitive Entry-Level Resume

Competition in the job market is tough and you can only wish that you had enough work experience to stay afloat. As such, an entry level resume or what seems to be an incomprehensive one seems not enough to market your professional profile to give you a fighting chance for that job you’re targeting on. So, the first step is to focus on the goal – target to create a competitive resume with enough patience and courage to complete it.

To create a compelling entry level resume requires that you do not underestimate your experiences that may take the place of formal previous employment. Internships, trainings and seminars, part-time work, and similar activities are best laid out on your resume highlighting the skills you have acquired during such experiences. Involvement with non-profit work may even show a potential employer a glimpse of your character. These factors are key and will potentially set you apart from the pack.

Choose your resume format wisely. Since chronological resumes focus on work history, it is best to employ the skills format – which will emphasize your skills and abilities learned from various work and non-work experiences. The skills format is also employed by non-entry-level job seekers who have great skill qualifications but who may not be as attractively presented to an employer via the traditional resume format.

Highlight your educational achievements. An entry-level job seeker may choose to list down his educational history on top of his resume to emphasize qualifications obtained from school. If you have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, this must be indicated along with other achievements and recognitions that you received. Courses, projects, and extracurricular relevant to the position applied for must also be described.

Stand out but be simple and professional. Some resumes go as far as using flashy colors and designs for uniqueness – this turns off employers. The last thing you would want to do as an entry-level job seeker is to show your inexperience through a bizarre resume style. Use a professional email address and choose a legible font style and size. Black is the best font color while light shades of pastel are best for a resume paper, with the right size.

There is always a competitive resume for a determined entry-level job seeker. If you find it really challenging to market yourself for a particular position, a professional resume writer can easily help you recognize your strengths and search for pointers that can compensate for weaknesses in your career profile.

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