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Resume Writing 101

Your one and only chance to make a good first impression

August 5, 2012
By KIM LOCCISANO - Staff Writer ( , Times Leader

You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it a good one.

Make the effort to put your best foot forward.

Get to the point, I really do want to hear what you have to say.

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You can find current information outlining the generally accepted resume writing style used in business communications today by talking with an expert, a professional job or school guidance counselor, your local library, or on reputable sites in the internet.

All are good things to consider when sitting down to get started writing your resume.

A well executed resume can be expected to become one of your most important tools in helping to achieve your personal goals, whether you are 16 years old or 76 years old; looking for a job after having been out of the workforce for a time, or never have been part of it; seeking a substantial change of career paths or just asking for the opportunity to become a volunteer.

You know your accomplishments, skills, talents, interests and passions better than anyone else does, so when it comes to writing a new resume or shaping up a previously used one, remember practicing something so you are able to produce the best result you are capable of is always a goal worth pursuing.

Your local library or school guidance counselor, or area job service resources, are excellent directions in which to look when seeking opinions and suggestions from others about how to write a resume.

While the format of resumes can fluctuate from year to year somewhat, there remains at least one constant no matter the opportunity you are trying to connect to or any of the other detailed areas routinely included in a personal resume: get your contact information and key points onto the top half of the first page, according to experts in the field of professional resume writing.

"These are not term papers or reports that will be graded on your perfect use of things like punctuation," said one expert with "They are business documents, which means they are written in a form and style very different from most documents people have been asked to create before sitting down to write the first draft of their initial resume."

Regardless how many resumes you have compiled previously, or how successful you believe your initial writing effort will be, always make time to do several strong drafts and take the time to proof read any materials you intend to share with others about yourself through the written messages held on the pages of your resume.

If you are particularly insecure about the current rules addressing the fine points of generally accepted resume writing style used in business communications today, take the time to connect with an expert, professional job counselor, a school guidance counselor, the shelves of your local library, or on reputable sites in the internet.

One highly respected style book can be very helpful and is easy to find and inexpensive to purchase so you can have it readily available to help advise you on particulars of any number of writing projects. The reference book is, "The Elements of Style" by E.B. White.

Many of the college search resources high school students have available to them through their community or school libraries and career guidance office services are accessible at no cost or for a minimal fee.

Every day employers receive dozens of poorly written resumes. How will you make yours stand out is the question.

There are criteria that simply must be included in any resume. When considering your resume ask yourself to following questions:

There can be a bit of confusion when one reference book refers to a part of a resume with one title and another resources calls it something else.

Taking the time to search out several different tutorials on resume writing will give you the chance to see for yourself what information is best displayed in what way, regardless what one or another resource call them initially.

"A resume profile is also referred to as a career summary, personal profile statement, profile statement, resume summary, and summary of qualifications. All of these terms refer to profiling your key qualifications for the job you are applying for with this particular resume," according to expert resources available via

Of vital importance, according to most resume writing expert sources, is putting the most important information in the top half of the copy on the first page of any resume.

The top half of any resume is what will get the most initial attention from anyone asked to consider you for any opportunity, so not only is it always one of the most important parts of the document in the first place, it is also the place to be concise and articulate.

Remember to make notes before you sit down to write your first draft.

Identify your goal.

Learn all you can about what the specifics of the opportunity are so you can select what information about you can be quickly shared in a way that will readily highlight how well you fit their need.



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