- Created on Sunday, 03 August 2003 01:39
- Written by Craig Lloyd
You may have been asked this question from a recruiter, a prospective employer, or seen a classified ad that caught your eye. But are you ready to respond with a recent, well- written resume?
As a recruiter I have reviewed thousands of resumes and have written hundreds for candidates conducting a career search. Following, I’ll share some pointers and pitfalls in resume writing.
I have found that the computer age has made writing / editing resumes much easier. MS Word with its resume wizard will help you set up a general outline of employers, job titles, dates and most important of all – bullets!
Put your resume on one page in an Arial font using an 11-point font; however switch to a 10-point if it means keeping it to one page. Since the MS Word resume wizard defaults to a 7-point font for the Address header, simply bump it up to 9.
Writing a resume is about including the right details, while getting rid of the details that the reader does not need. The purpose has always been the same - to motivate the reader to pick up the phone and call you or for the employer in the personal interview to use for questions.
Don’t make the initial phone contact harder than it needs to. If you go by “Bill Freelander,” then use it instead of William Jason Freelander. If you go by your middle name then simply put “W. Jason Freelander.
Omitting the “Objective” is smart. Many are too general and simply waste space, but a very specific objective may keep you from being considered for certain intriguing positions. Another unnecessary section is the “List of Qualifications”. It is better to demonstrate those within the specific accomplishments achieved with individual employers.
Abbreviate states, do not include the street address for your employers, eliminate the word “email” from your address, and use 2/03 instead of February 2003. This type of editing will give your sheet of paper much needed ‘white space,” and allow the reader to focus on the critical points.
Paint the Picture
Since anyone in our industry can relate to your laundry experience, use detail describing plant facilities you have been involved with, especially regarding the volume, mix, equipment, number of employees, etc. If possible describe the size of your employers, either in annual revenues, or by number of plants company wide
Well, what did you do well?
The biggest mistake job seekers make with their resume is simply writing job description text for each place they worked. It is a waste of space, plus most interviewers in our industry can guess through most job titles. Highlight your strengths by developing strong results – driven position summaries. For instance, a general manager might write:
Directed the planning, staffing, budgeting and operations of a 15 MM lbs healthcare laundry plant for this 25-plant company. Managed a workforce of 120 though six supervisors. Controlled a $ 7.2 MM annual operating budget.
You can format the position summary under the job title or list each sentence in a separate bullet.
Even more critical in resume writing is listing your accomplishments in a bullet format. The key to this lies in the way you have managed your career. Every year you should have initiated or taken part in some highlight within your job activity. These are the highlights that can reinforce a positive performance review and, if necessary bolster a resume.
Your most recent three employers should have a list of 2 or 3 specific accomplishments in a bullet format. Remember, generalizations are not impressive; a resume must include specifics – numbers, percentages, details – that communicate how well you performed in the workplace. Incorporate a positive spin if you need to, just make sure it will be supported by your references.
When you are done, let two or three other people review it for typos, terminology, wording and tone. Spell Check will not catch manger (manager) or form (from).
Purchase some quality resume paper at your local office supply store and you are ready to go.
Craig Lloyd represents LaundryCareers.com, a management search firm specializing in the industrial / institutional laundry industry. He holds a degree in Industrial Relations from Rider University and has been a Certified Personnel Consultant since 1979.
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