Professional resume samples run the gamut, so it's easy to get information overload when trying to find one that best suits your skills and accomplishments. In this article we'll help narrow your focus.
To Template or Not To Template
Many professionals update their resume as soon as they get a new position, promotion, award or key accomplishment. These additions don't automatically require a complete layout change, but it's also convenient not to reinvent the wheel each time.
Resume templates keep everything simple. If you use Microsoft Word, you can use existing templates on your system or download fresh ones from their site. Templates are good for structuring content, but content is still what matters most.
What Format and Style Work Best?
Pick a format and layout style designed to make the important points pop. Depending on the level of expertise and industry, a combination resume is probably the best choice to demonstrate results and interpersonal skills as well as to highlight a strong career track.
Layout style choices fluctuate based on personal preference, but keep it simple. Print off a few examples that appeal to you and determine which will present you and your accomplishments as attractively as possible.
Tips for Professional Resumes
Your individual industry dictates many circumstances of professional resume review. If your job has had you in a bubble, spend some time becoming reacquainted with your field to:
Understand what new solutions might be needed.
Become familiar with the buzzwords or keywords.
Learn what duties might be expected in certain positions.
Subscribe to a newsletter or trade journal so your language and knowledge is fresh.
Of course, the basics still apply:
Demonstrate clear intent of career path.
Position yourself as an attractive benefit to the company with a targeted objective or qualifications summary.
Use the keywords found in the advertisement.
Have someone else review your resume for typos and flow of content.
Professional Resume Sample
Our professional is a social worker with strong communication skills and results.
Sometimes another pair of experienced eyes can really provide a fresh perspective. If you haven't needed to conduct a job search in a while, feel like the competition will be fierce for a new position, or just want to improve your knowledge of what really works on a professional resume these days, a resume service may be a good resource.
However, don't be lured in by promises of "much higher salaries" just because of a resume. Everyone knows that resumes don't generate salaries - companies and people do. So review all professional resumes samples from a resume service carefully and ask yourself if you'd call someone in for an interview based on X or Y resume. If you're impressed, that's the service with which to partner.
Set Yourself Apart with the Cover Letter
Each cover letter provides an opportunity for you to really show a prospective employer how much you know about them and the advertised position and, more importantly, how you'll anticipate their company's needs. This is your chance to really sell yourself - in a way that the employer envisions you adding value to their company.
If you'd like to improve your letter writing skills, perhaps these books will help: