Resume Components

What are resume components?

There are two basic components to a resume.

The first one is CONTENT (what the resume is about). The second one is DESIGN (how the resume looks).

How can these resume components
help you succeed?

Both elements are critical in determining the success of your resume. As you might guess, content is of greater value to the prospective employer. Content tells the employer about your qualifications, such as your accomplishments, where you have worked before, how long you have worked at each job and so on.

The design element is quite a bit different, but it also plays a part in determining how well a resume is written. Some of the areas that design entails are:

  • color and quality of paper (white and 24 lb paper, at least)
  • format (Chronological, Functional, Combination)
  • layout (which sections appear first on the page)
  • font(s) used (one or two at the most)
  • white space (gives the reader's eyes a break)
Determining the design your resume can contribute a great deal to the overall presentation you make to prospective employers. A resume must not only contain the right language and qualifications, but it must be pleasing to the eye.

Look at it this way: When resumes are first taken out of their envelopes, the process of making a first impression begins. You can't take a chance of being ruled out, especially this early, so your materials must be of the highest quality.

Do you know what your competitors are doing? If not, then you need to ensure you are doing everything possible to give yourself an advantage over them. Keep in mind that they could just as easily be reading the same information you are right now. How are you going to out-perform them?

Ensure that each resume component is outstanding!

The next component of the resume that you must strive to make PERFECT is the content portion. There is nothing of higher value than speaking to a prospective employer's needs. When you are able to communicate your achievements and abilities in such a way as to garner instant attention, then you have a good chance of getting a call for an interview.

That means you must tailor the content to each employer's specific needs for the position you are seeking. Using the same resume for different employers is not the way you market yourself in today's competitive labor market. Each resume must speak to a unique position at one company. A prospective employer can tell right away if a candidate has taken the time to focus his/her resume in this way. It makes a tremendous difference in the way your resume is handled (read vs. not read).

A hiring manager will know immediately if your resume is being mass marketed to dozens of organizations. Each company has a language all its own. If you are not making an effort to speak the language of each company you send your resume to, you will not find success in the job search process. It simply will not happen.

Your resume has to get the reader's attention and the best way to do that is to inject the language of the prospective employer into the content wherever possible.

How do you do that?

You found out about the job, right? Was it from a newspaper ad? Did someone tell you about it? Research the organization to find out what matters to them. Ask questions of existing employees (in person or via phone). Yes, you can call Human Resources and request some general information about the company and even some specific information about the position they are attempting to fill. Check out their web presence.

The more you find out, the better you can tailor your resume and cover letter to match their standards. Each organization has a culture (environment) that differs from others in a variety of ways. When you are able to clearly speak to the needs of the employer, you will win immediate favor. You will "belong" in a way that your competitors cannot.

Each resume component is essential

Content is the most important aspect of the resume since that is what employers will base their initial decisions on. Would you prefer to have your resume set aside in the "yes" pile or the "no" pile? That is a dumb question, indeed. So, make the effort to ensure each section of your resume is a work of art. Each resume component is an essential element of the whole package that you present to a prospective employer. Each resume component deserves the time and effort necessary to ensure your success in the job search process.

In case you would like a refresher on the various resume sections, look at this page:

The Resume Outline

It provides, in detail, what each section of the resume should entail.

Beat out your competitors by having the best resume of anyone in your chosen career field.

You can do it!

If you are finished reading about Resume Components, try reading these Resume Tips You can also try out the resume builder from Live Career

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