Monday, October 12, 2009

How can you write your resume in 10 minutes or less?!

A dramatic shift in the topic chosen for this blog; it clearly demonstrates that play time is over! :)

Each time I have done my resume I had to go through (re)learning the trends and techniques of resume writing. I find this exercise extremely inefficient and superbly time consuming.

In order to make this process a bit easier and the future iterations much faster, (claim is 10 minutes or less), I decided to summarize and record my interpretations of the rules, design the template that is flexible to upcoming trends and future changes.

First the resume type: there are four types (as far as I know) of resume. These formats are only suggestions and do sound old school. I can select and apply (conservatively) a bit of each to my resume. After all, I want my resume to survive the 30 seconds glance.

The Chronological: in this format I will list all the positions I have held starting with the most recent to demonstrate my depth in the knowledge area and breadth in the industry that I have been applying my professional self to.
If I have been consistent in choosing employment positions (breadth) and projects and responsibilities within each position (depth), the finished chronological resume should show continuity, growth, advancement and accomplishments.

But what if I was hit by a resource action, or decided to voluntarily retire, resign, quit, there are so many ways to describe the same action; or I have decided to start fresh in a new knowledge area; what then? In that case, the chronological format cannot demonstrate and highlight my abilities and convey my true worth.

Functional format emphasizes on skills, abilities, credentials and qualifications first. Later in the resume I can insert opportunities that I have had to apply the qualifications to or develop and improve the skills and abilities. The message here is to let the audience know that I have a defined career goal, I have given the return, or the change careful thought; and I have a set of skills and abilities that can assist me in achieving it (the goal).

The next resume format is CV. This type is used by select group of professionals, such as doctors. The CV consists of a list of credentials such as medical schools, residences performed, internships, fellowships, and hospitals they worked in.

What I need to learn next is how to position facts and information about myself through out this document.

Introduction: I like to always start with an introduction that summarizes my qualifications, skills, and abilities relevant to the job I am applying. This section should be crafted intelligently. The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to use brainstorming techniques: a piece of paper, a pen, a few keywords from the job description and an open mind is all that I need. Avoid Google!!

Qualifications: Depending on the resume type, functional, chronological, etc, I will enclose a history of positions and education or certifications after the introduction.

Closing: I close with the miscellaneous: awards, volunteer activities, and hobbies; stuff that can show a bit of personality.

That should be all that goes in my resume.

Once the organization of the resume is clear, I have to think about vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation.

A quick tally on time, I have spent 2 days so far on writing my resume; it is definitely not a 10 minutes task!

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