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Re-writing your resume? It never hurts to sharpen up yourcurriculum vitae (CV), which offers potential employers a firstglance at your qualifications and experience. Whether you needed ajob yesterday, or are just beginning to mull over pursuing a newposition sometime, there are five things you’ll want to take onboard when revising your resume.

1. Remember: It’s a summary, not a novel

Your resume acts as a concise overview of your qualifications,work experience and skills. Or it should, anyway. When writing yourresume, don’t be tempted to put in every detail from your variousjobs. A good resume is no more than two pages long and includesfour sections:

* Contact information: Crucial. Put your current phone numbers,mailing address, and a professional e-mail address up at the top. A”professional” e-mail address means one that includes your firstand last name, or first initials and last name, in the handle.Hiring managers cringe at cutesy e-mail handles, even when theapplicant is otherwise qualified. So [email protected] isacceptable, while “craZeeLovah82” is definitely not. Open a newaccount with one of the free web-based providers if you haveto.

* Education and certifications: This should include youronline degreetraining, traditional degrees and professional certifications(if any). You don’t need to put your college GPA down unlessemployers specifically ask for it. For professional certifications,you should list the year you qualified and include any licensingnumbers.

* Work experience: List the jobs you’ve held in reversechronological order, with a few bullet points underneath eachexplaining your key responsibilities in a sentence. If you’re anolder worker with tons of past jobs, you may need to edit: Includeyour two most recent jobs plus a few other jobs with skills thatbest match the position you’re applying for.

* Specialized skills: This is just a short bullet list detailingspecial workplace-relevant skills you might have: computer programsyou can use to a high degree, foreign languages you speak fluently,extensive onlinelearning, etc.

2. Keep it impersonal

You’ll notice that we didn’t include personal information in ourrundown of what belongs in a resume. Hiring managers don’t reallyneed to know about your age, marital status, children, pets orhobbies. And they definitely won’t want to see jokes or sarcasmwithin your resume itself, so skip the urge to be creative whenwriting this particular document: keep it clear, sober and to thepoint.

You can win them over with your warmth and wit when they call toschedule your interview. And even then, you should only disclosepersonal information if directly asked (and if you’re comfortablewith it).

3. Revise often

Most people’s resumes gather dust while they’re working. It’spretty common to leave your resume untouched on your computer harddrive for years while you earn your daily bread. When you suddenlyneed it – whether you’re laid off or have a golden opportunity laidat your feet that requires your resume fast – you wind up pullingan all-nighter to bring it up-to-date. And then, when you’vesubmitted it, you realize you forgot something crucial.

Revisiting your resume regularly – twice a year, say – to addyour latest skills and responsibilities ensures that you have acurrent, all-inclusive CV handy if someone asks you to apply forsomething. It also gives you a chance to reflect on your progress(or lack of progress) at work, so you can set goals for yourcurrent career even as you plan to pursue a new one.

4. Give ’em what they want

If you’re applying for a specific position, have a copy of thehelp wanted ad nearby when you’re revising your resume. This way,you can list your experiences and skills that match up with whatthey say they’re looking for.

5. Get a second opinion

Whenever possible, get a sharp friend or coworker to look overyour resume before you send it anywhere. They can help you correctspelling mistakes, typographical errors, grammar issues, andanything else that makes you seem less than professional. Theyshould be able to tell you what skills you learned and what dutiesyou performed at every job. If they can’t, you probably weren’tclear.

Information in this article was provided by AmericanInterContinental University Online, an onlineuniversity offering career-focused education at the associate,bachelor and master degree levels. Contact AIU Online today ifyou’re interested in developing marketable knowledge andcareer-relevant skills with an industry-current degree program.(AIU Online does not guarantee employment or salary.)

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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