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How to Really Start Writing a Resume

Posted by Patra Frame

start writing your resumeI am often asked for resume writer recommendations. Many HR pros get this question. Often there is a hope for a magic pill here. A wonderful resume with little work and at low cost. But even those who understand what information is needed are surprised by the questions a good resume writer will ask. Most start with 35-60 questions you must answer in depth.

The Do It Yourself Approach

Are you considering a job search? Or are you a military member in transition? Get out a blank sheet of paper or open a new file. Take your time to fully answer a few questions from resume writers. These will get you started on creating that smart resume you need. If you’ve already written your resume, consider whether you have really answered the following questions.

At this stage, you should go into as much detail as possible. Cutting it down will come when you write the resume.

1. List 3-4 specific positions, by job title, which you are targeting.

2. For each position of interest: list the critical skills, experience, and knowledge most commonly required to succeed.

3. What is your desired industry? Why? List 10-12 companies you are targeting and why you chose each.

4. What are your key strengths for the positions which you are targeting?

5. For each position you have held in the past decade, define 5-6 specific achievements which are relevant to the position(s) you now seek to move into. Note each achievement should state the task you faced, the actions you took, and the results of your actions.

6. For each of your most recent three positions, show how your work specifically contributed to the success of your work unit, function, and if possible the organization.

7. Which experiences, skills, or education do you want to focus on in this resume? Why are you choosing those?

8. What do you offer an employer that is different from what other candidates offer? Why is this important to the employers you are targeting?

9. What feedback have you received, formally or informally, about your recent performance? What does it offer which may be important to your job search?

10. What actions have you taken within the past five years to ensure you were growing your skills, professional abilities, and knowledge? How effective was each choice?

This small sample of questions, based on common ones asked by top resume writers, will provide you with the basics to create an effective resume — if you take the time to really answer each question. The next step, which is to distill all this information into one or two pages, will test your ability to focus on the most important elements of your background to the target employers you have selected.

Patra FramePatra Frame is ClearedJobs.Net’s HR Consultant. She is an experienced human resources executive and founder of Strategies for Human Resources. Patra is an Air Force veteran and charter member of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial. Follow Patra on Twitter @2Patra.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 7:12 am

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