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Summary of Qualifications:Always start with the summary - NOT an objective! The summary should be 4-5 typed lines. Describe what you are. State the number of years experience in the industry. State the positions you have held (not specific titles, use generic position names like Software Developer, Programmer, Analyst, etc.). State the application areas you have worked on like banking, telephony, or financial. State your key skills. If you are a Windows Developer specializing in Visual C++, state it. Do not state what you would like to be, state what you are!
Technical Skills:Detail your technical skills experience. Clearly indicate what hardware, software, languages, operation system and networks you have used. Put the information in a table, use tabs or bold it to indicate your level of experience in each area. If you have used some older technology. (i.e., COBOL or Univac) and do not want to use that technology again, do not include it on the summary. Many companies today scan resumes into a database system so it is important to state the EXACT technology you have used.
Professional Experience:This is the heart of the resume. Prospective employers should be able to find a skill they are looking for on page 1 (the summary-remember!) and find the detail of that skill in the body of the resume. For example, if you state in your summary that you are a Visual Basic developer, the reader should be able to quickly and easily find Visual Basic in the body of the resume. Start with the most recent company first. State the Company Name, City/State and dates of employment (MM/YY). Bold it or put it in a table or chart. Next describe what you did. For example, "As a Software Developer, worked on financial application. Designed, developed, tested, debugged and documented a system to calculate the average income of the Seattle Mariner baseball team. Wrote several programs in Visual Basic to determine the salary peaks for each player...."
Education:State the degree, university attended, city and state of the university, major and year degree was attained. If you have more than one degree, start with the highest level first. If you do not have a degree but have professional education in certain areas, summarize the classes and label the category Professional Education. Sending your resume: As you respond to job postings, send your resume via e-mail (preferred), fax or mail. If you use e-mail, send it in a MS Word attachment.
Cover note or letter:Include a brief note. Do not summarize everything you did. State your main skills. It does not need to be more than a couple of short paragraphs. This is your opportunity to highlight or provide information that may not be included in your resume, but supports your qualifications for the position. If you are applying for jobs in another location (i.e., you live in Boise but are applying for jobs in Seattle) state why you are considering the area. If you have family in the area, state it. Employers are very reluctant to hire from out of the area. It is risky and expensive to relocate employees.
Follow-up:It is a good idea to e-mail or call for a status. It can be a good way to get your resume reviewed. Do not annoy the recruiter with hundreds of phone calls. If rejected by the company, try not to take it personally. It could be your salary, requirements of the job, timing, skill set or any number of factors. Just keep working at it!
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