Resume Writing – Part 1

Written by on July 9, 2012 in Career - 2 Comments | Print this page

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Resume Writing - Part 1

Use the highlights of your job duties, not every single thing you ever did at a job.

Deciding what to write on your resume can be daunting. Many people simply list every single thing they ever did at a job. This, however, is useless. Unless it was your absolute first job ever, it is assumed that most adults can answer a phone and open mail. So, if you’re over 20, don’t bother listing every single thing you ever did at a job.

To help clarify what should be on a resume, here are some basics that should go on a resume.

Highlights

Focus on the big picture. Sure, maybe you opened the mail, sorted the mail, and delivered the mail. No one cares though. Instead, write something like “Handled incoming mail.” Everyone who reads this will understand what your responsibilities were without having to read a play by play account of your mail duties.

Computer Programs

Many people don’t think it’s relevant to list common computer programs such as Microsoft Word. I disagree. I have worked with people who could barely use a computer. So, listing that you are able to use Microsoft Word tells your employer that you can use a computer at a basic level. While it is getting harder to find people who cannot do this, they still do exist. So, separate yourself from them by listing programs that you are proficient in.

Languages

Languages (other than English in the US) are another thing that you should be listing on your resume. Although the job listing may not specifically say “Spanish Speaker Wanted,” it can only help you. There is one thing to remember though: be specific and honest about your language skills. Don’t say you are fluent unless you can read and write at a high school level. You can clarify your skills by stating that your skills are basic, intermediate, conversational, fluent, or native level. These are words that will make your language level clear. You never want to be in a position where a Russian speaking client comes in and everyone assumes you can handle the meeting when, in reality, you only took one Russian class ten years ago. That will upset your boss and make you look like a liar.

 Listing these things won’t guarantee you a job but, they will help to make your resume more effective.

 What information do you think are resume must haves?

 

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About the Author

Jen Small

Jen is a writer who is originally from South Florida. A former recruiter for a Fortune 500 company, she has also worked in several different industries - real estate, insurance, construction, and education. Jen has now taken this experience to help others as a resume writer and designer. She currently lives and works in South Korea. View all posts with career advice.