| (Percussion sounds emanating from who knows where while you listen to the cadence of the words below.)|
Itís time to sell yourself.
May the words light up the way.
Itís now your chance to shine,
And itís soon gonna be your day.
So make sure you show them
All the many things you can do.
Itís now your chance to shine.
With a resume just for you.
No, no, no! Wait a minute! This isnít the kind of "RAP" that you should use for your resume. Although, there would be some shock value, and the person doing the paper screening would surely get a laugh and not likely forget your name. The WRAP to which I am referring is W, written wisely and well; R, review, rewrite, re-read; A, analysis and awareness; and P, proofread and proofread again.
The WRAP approach needs to envelope all that you are and all that you can be, as it specifically relates to the position which you are seeking. In other words, you have to sell yourself, and donít sell yourself short. Think of it as wrapping yourself up in a package that someone is going to open to find a pleasant surprise. Think of yourself as the one person who can best fill the position and the one person who can demonstrate that fact to the decision makers. Getting through the paper screening process, and making sure your resume stands out, is the first step in securing the job you are after.
Here is a systematic approach (WRAP) you can use as you fashion a resume that genuinely and professionally reflects your Ability, Potential, Talent, Independence, Tenacity, Understanding, Determination and Exuberance. In other words, your APTITUDE.
W - Writing your resume may be one of the most difficult and crucial chores that you can ever do for yourself. It calls for you to bring forth all of your "word-smithing talents" and apply all that you have ever learned about professional and quality written communication. Making the decision about what to include and how to word it and display it, should not be done without carefully considering each phrase and word choice and its impact on the overall document. Post It Notes (which have surpassed the use of 3x5 cards) can be used to organize each of your thoughts or phases and can be put into an orderly sequence that describes your attributes to those who read that one or two page document.
In writing your resume you need to ask yourself a few questions, as a checklist of what you should consider. Did you do your homework? Did you find out all about your prospective employer or company? Did you choose a format (chronological, functional, targeted, etc.) that best packages your aptitude? Did you include your contact information at the top of your resume? Did you include the major categories of Education, Work Experiences, Other and References? With that done, start typing from your post it notes and get those words down on the page. Yes, you will change it many times before you are finished. This is all a part of the WRAP process that leads to the next logical step of your packaging.
R - Review, rewrite, and re-read are the three Rís in the "Review Your Resume" step. Did you use action verbs, and were you consistent in the voice used throughout the document? Did you use a bullet format or other easy to read style that leads the decision maker through "your story"? Did you use a thesaurus and choose each word wisely so that key words were not overused? Did you look at it from the reviewerís perspective? Would you be impressed by this document if someone sent it to you and you were the decision maker? Getting the initial information written out in the previous step is not nearly as difficult or demanding as this self-reflective step. Take your time with this.
A - Analysis and awareness of the completed product is the next area to be tackled. A basic checklist for this step includes: choose an off white, high quality paper; use a font size of 10, 11, or 12; choose a professional looking style font such as Arial or Times Roman; leave out graphics, underlines, and italics; and use spacing that is appropriate and pleasing to the eye. This is the step where you want to scrutinize the overall look of the document, asking yourself if it could be improved in any way. Never, ever, ever have any kinds of smudges, folds, corrections or other visible elements that detract from your resume. What would that say about you? Just remember neat, neat, neat.
P - The final step of proofing and proofing again cannot be over done. One of the most difficult things to do is find your own errors. You just donít sea them. (See what I mean.) This is where you need to get others involved. Show the final product to your spouse, significant other, trusted colleague, or your best friend. Pick any two. Ask them to be brutally honest. That is the only way you will go away with a document that is as near perfect as you can get.
Writing about yourself and expounding upon your desirable qualities and characteristics is not something a person does easily or naturally. Keep in mind that what employers want are candidates who have good communication skills, are honest, display integrity, have great interpersonal skills and are highly organized. A resume, if done effectively, can provide a prospective employer with positive impressions linked to the attributes an employer seeks. Ask yourself one final question, "Am I trying for perfection in my resume?" Good! You should be because employers can tell if you are.
Read more about writing a killer resume at http://www.sbmag.org/resumes
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About the Author
About the Author
Barbara Snyder is a retired California Distinguished School Principal and Coordinator For Human Resources. She has a masterís degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She holds elementary education, secondary, community college, and administrative credentials. She is currently the publisher of http://EducationResourcesNetwork.com, co-publisher of Strictly Business Magazine, http://www.sbmag.org.
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