Resumes

Welcome to eResumes.com! On this site you'll find all you need to know about writing and distributing resumes and cover letters that will knock the socks off the recruiters, HR people and computers (yes, computers!) that read your resume. We'll tell you something about job searches and job interviews, a lot about tools and resources for resume-writing, and we'll give you criteria for selecting someone to help you write a great resume.

You'll read about e-Portfolios, free sample resumes and professional resume examples, resume cover letters, templates and formats; resume posting and resume blasting -- all the resume help and tips you will need to design, write, post and distribute professional or professional-quality resumes and cover letters. All of this is designed for one purpose -- to help you develop a resume that will make you stand out from that crowd of other job seekers.

What's This About eResumes?
So why are we called eResumes.com? ("e," by the way, stands for "electronic" in Internet lingo). Because (almost) all resumes are now e-resumes. Employers expect to get your resume via email, or from an electronic bulletin board, or through use of an electronic form (where you paste your resume after answering endless questions and hope that the resume's formatting will still be there). Or they might even go to your web page to see your e-portfolio that contains video clips and photos of your most recent work-related project.

The growth of online resume services has brought a dramatic change in the way resumes are constructed. Electronic and software scanning have now become widely used methods of screening resumes, eliminating the need for humans to do the job in many cases. Resumes must now emphasize keywords and industry-specific terms and acronyms. So no matter how you write your resume or for what job niche, chances are it will be e-scanned and e-distributed!

There are some tricks to the "e" part. And you will read here about those tricks, including how to format your e-resume for electronic transfer, how to make the most of keywords, what e-writing should look like, and how to create your own e-portfolio. But most of the time you will just read about resumes without the "e" -- researching, designing, formatting, writing, and distributing them. You can always add the "e,"and you'll be correct.

So, let's get started. On this page you'll find a general discussion of writing a resume. But look around and click on the links to get just what you need, whether it's a resume for a specific job, sample cover letters, professional resume-writing companies, or a tutorial on resume writing. It's all here!

Writing a Great Resume

Argh! It's time to write or (rewrite) your resume. What may feel like the world's most tedious task--puffing yourself up and bragging about your accomplishments on paper--doesn't have to be so painful. Just remember one thing: Your resume should stand out from the crowd. Employers, especially those who have posted openings on large Web sites, receive hundreds of resumes for a single position. You must show how qualified you are by describing your qualifications for the desired job in a concise, clear, and attention-getting manner.

Here’s a terrific article by career advisor William S. Frank to get you started. Most resumes focus on responsibilities. This article helps you feature accomplishments and transferable competencies to get your resume to the top of the stack. http://www.careerlab.com/resume.htm (These resume articles were first published in Colorado Business magazine, the Denver Business Journal, the Denver Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Post, and the journal of the Colorado Human Resource Association.)

Here are a few ways to get your resume to the top of the stack.

Organization
It's all about function versus chronology. In functional resumes, you group your skills into categories and then briefly list your past job titles at the bottom. This format is usually reserved for career changers who want to de-emphasize huge gaps of unemployment or a lack of direct experience. Recent college grads and others on a consistent career path usually opt for the chronological format. These resumes list your jobs (and duties for each) in reverse chronological order. If you're a regular college grad, we suggest the chronological format. Most employers expect to see that format, and it best highlights your education and relevant work experience.

Emphasize Accomplishments
When organizing a chronological resume, you should still include sections on your accomplishments, education, and skills to communicate what you have accomplished. Functional resumes should focus on accomplishments as well. HR representatives and employers take less than a minute to scan your resume, so showcase and organize items into several concise and relevant segments. If you just graduated from college and have not yet been employed, place your "Education" section first, directly below the letterhead. In addition to the basics--school name, degree, major, and graduation date--you can include relevant coursework that applies to a desired position, academic honors or awards, and your GPA. If you skated through college with anything over a 3.0, feel free to put it on your resume. Other categories might include "Relevant Work Experience," "Volunteer Experience," "Computer Skills," "Publications," "Activities and Honors," "Language Skills," and so on.

Appearance
Along with effective organization, appearance can make or break your resume. When creating a super resume, keep these points in mind:

  • Fonts. Whether you e-mail, fax, or mail your resume to prospective employers, you should try to keep your font plain and easy to read. And select a reasonable size--anywhere between 9 and 12 points should be acceptable. We suggest using a sans serif font like Arial or Verdana, not Times New Roman. These will come out much clearer in faxes.
  • Formatting. Just because you have Microsoft Word and all of its formatting capabilities, your resume doesn't have to look like a Caribbean vacation brochure. Myriad fonts, colors, and graphic embellishments don't really help, so use minimal and purposeful formatting. Simple bullets will best separate your duties and skills; use bolding and italics sparingly. Formatting should highlight your accomplishments, not draw attention away from them. Less, in this case, is definitely more.
  • Paper. Even if you don't snail-mail your resume to employers, you should have hard copies on hand to bring to interviews. These copies should be on tasteful resume-quality paper. White, off-white, cream, and gray are the easiest to read. Just like your socks, your cover letters, mailing envelopes, and resumes should all match.

Content
Now that you know how to organize your resume and what it should look like, you need to know what to put in it. Click on action verbs to see a list.

  • Action words. When describing your prior job experience and duties, use active language. Instead of starting your sentence with a noun, start with an active, descriptive, impressive verb. For example: "Customer Service Representative. Assisted customers with product selection, trained and supervised 15 new employees, organized special promotional events." Don't think of this as a term paper--action verbs and flowery language required.
  • Numbers. That's right, we said numbers. Always include numbers, percentages, and dollar amounts in your job descriptions to back up your achievements. How many people did you supervise? How much money did you raise? How many wild bears did you feed during your stint at the zoo? How much did party favor sales increase under your direction? This approach immediately highlights the kind of impact you've made
  • Length. Keep it to one page. No one wants to scan through two or more pages of your long-winded accomplishments and experience. If it doesn't all fit--which it won't, unless you're a recent college grad with no experience--cut it down to the most relevant and impressive items. You should tailor your resume to match the job description, so be sure to cut and paste accordingly.

And if your skills match what an employer is looking for, you'll be snatched up for an interview. From there, it's up to you: Show them you're as good as that pretty piece of paper says you are.