Writing a Creative Resume: A View of You on Paper

In your resume, you are trying to communicate to an employer all of your accomplishments, why you are qualified, and why you are the best candidate for the job. Too many people shortchange themselves on their skills and experience.

Your resume alone will not get you a job. It should be written with confidence, and a sense of pride in yourself. You want to make an impression on the employer that leads to an interview. The main goal of your job search is to get interviews, because that is ultimately how you will get the job. It’s a step-by-step process, with each task being part of the goal.

It is true the employers are often bombarded with hundreds of resumes. Because of this, your resume should be easy to read and detail can be easily perceived by the reader. A good resume requires a careful listing of your capabilities and your successes. Do not be wordy for the sake of wordiness.

In addition to work experiences, consider your other achievements, challenges, and responsibilities. This could include volunteer work, participating in community activities, and hobbies. These special skills could be the difference between you and another candidate.

There is no real formula to resume writing. A good resume should include a description of your job duties for each employer, stated in easy-to-read statements. Include facts and figures to substantiate achievements, but don't get bogged down in them. It is important that everything is factual.

For the more experienced individual, try to stay away from lengthy statements about your character or the kind of company you worked for in the past. Cite your achievements and how they were beneficial to the employer.

Remember that a resume is used to eliminate candidates. Even before talking with you, if an employer doesn't like something in your resume or finds an obvious omission or inconsistency, you will be eliminated from the interviewing process. Sometimes, what you exclude is as important as whatever you include.

Once your resume is done, how should you use it? Don't think that sending a resume to an employer and then waiting for a phone call is a good job-search technique. It will only lull you into a false sense of security that you are doing something to get a job.

Talk to as many people face-to-face as you can to learn about job opportunities. Read the classifieds, visit the Virginia Employment Commission, use the computer to find job sites, tips, and a multitude of other information. A job is not going to come to you. 

You have a much better chance of screening yourself in by talking to the employer and crafting your "verbal resume" to highlight your skills most relevant to the particular interviewer's needs.

Don't let your resume alone speak for you. In the end, you can sell yourself better than any resume.