Resume Brainstorming -
A New Way to Think About an Old Subject
If you have never written a resume before or you are dusting off an older copy of your resume, you may benefit from this awesome brainstorming technique.
You have probably heard of the process of brainstorming where you just jot down any thought that comes to mind about a particular situation or problem. Well, apply that to writing a resume and you have Resume Brainstorming – the process of writing down anything and everything related to creating a great resume.
There are several things you will need to brainstorm about, so don't just stop here and miss the steps below. It is important to know what to brainstorm about and how to weed through the information you come up with.
Think of the sections included in a typical resume. There is the heading, objective, education, experience and "other" sections. Each one needs attention during the brainstorming process. Grab a pen and paper or whatever you choose to use (a word processing program is also great) and get ready to think.
First, let's start with the heading section. The best news is that it is the easiest one so it is a great place to start off. There really isn't any real resume brainstorming to do, just make note of your current address and phone number. If you want to include your email, too, you can do so. It is best to not mention a personal web site unless it specifically showcases your professional skills.
Next is the objective section. Think about what you want to do in your first or next job. Write down your goals and career plans. Make sure they fit with your experience level. Also, make sure they coincide with the needs of the position to which you are applying.
The education section is fairly easy, too. Surely you know where you went to school, so list the school, city and state where you went to school, dates you attended, course of studies you focused on and GPA if it was good.
Work experience is the one section where you can really go crazy brainstorming. Think of what you have done which could potentially influence an employer to want to hire you. If you are writing your first resume, include anything you have done for volunteer organizations, churches and school organizations, too. When you have a good list going, highlight anything that is directly in line with the job you are seeking. If it is not directly related, then don't use it.
"Other" sections could include: awards, publications, activities, honors and so on. Use this section to emphasize positive achievements, team activities and anything else that the employer might be impressed to learn about you.
Now that you have an understanding of what you want to put in your resume, you are ready to choose a resume format that highlights your qualifications. There are three basic types: Chronological, Functional and Combination.
Remember that everything about your resume is focused on what the employer wants to know about you. You have to get the employer interested enough in you to want to call you for an interview. That is the whole purpose of the resume. You can do all the resume brainstorming you want, but if you don't make the resume look good, then you don't get a job.
Once you have a working copy of your resume, have someone look it over for you. You need an extra set of eyes to check for grammar errors, typos and other possible resume mistakes. Revise your resume as much as necessary to ensure it is error-free. The fastest way to get your resume thrown into the garbage can is to have misspelled words and/or typos on it.
Your resume is the one thing that can get you hired when you are not present (in front of) the employer. Make sure it looks great. By using the brainstorming technique above, you should have plenty of skills and achievements to provide to the employer to get their attention.
Resume brainstorming isn't a term you hear every day, but it is one avenue for helping you get the information you need to create a great resume.
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