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Agrimarketing : January February 2008
14 AgriMarketing January/February 2008 It is said that human resource professionals only look at a resume for an average of 30 sec- onds. So you only have 30 seconds to stand out from a crowd and make a great first impression! How do you do that? Here are a few pointers to get you started. FORMATTING While everyone seems to have their own personal opinion on format, the truth is really it's about the content. If you need help or a starting point, there are a number of Web sites that offer different templates and resume suggestions. Here are a few format- ting suggestions: • Keep it clear and concise --- use headings for your sections (ex. Experience, Education, etc.) and rather than paragraphs use bullet points to explain your experience • For someone with a lot of experi- ence, it is OK to have a two page resume --- if you haven't had a lot of experience, a one page resume is appropriate (if you have a curricu- lum vita or research background different guidelines apply) • Layout can and should vary --- if you are a new graduate you should consider beginning with your education; if you are a profes- sional with some good experience to showcase begin with that --- whichever way, be sure that each section is listed in reverse chrono- logical order • Unless references are asked for, do not include them on your resume --- also, it is not necessary to state "References available upon request" at the bottom. Most employers will not hesitate to ask for references if they need them and including this statement on your resume is just stating the obvious. CONTACT INFORMATION A common mistake that is easy to avoid is an unprofessional e-mail address. Don't think that this is just students or young professionals; there are plenty of experienced pro- fessionals with inappropriate or unprofessional personal e-mail addresses as well. Also, include con- tact information that you can actu- ally be contacted at. If you are currently in a job, we strongly advise that you do not give out your company e-mail or office phone number as contact informa- tion for prospective employers. You never know when an employer may contact you. CONTENT Focus on measurables --- rather than providing the employer with a job description of past roles, focus on your accomplishments. Use state- ments that include action words, such as attract, make, save, etc. Some examples of measurable statements are: • Grew sales by X% in a nine state territory to an annual sales rev- enue of $X. • Led X number of people in a department that oversaw the marketing of X number of products. • Successfully attracted X number of new customers within one year, an increase of X% to the overall customer database in the Eastern region. Some people like to include a career objective or skills profile within their resume, while this is something that is not standard it can sometimes be helpful to quickly give a snapshot of abilities. If you choose to include something like this, be sure that it is tailored to the job that you are applying for. Using key- words in these introduction sections that have been featured in the job posting can be an easy way to catch an employer 's interest. It can be difficult to know how far to go back in your work history. If you are a seasoned professional this can be particularly important to avoid any type of age discrimina- tion. As a general rule, it is most appropriate to include the past 15 years of experience. As a young pro- fessional, if you have built up some good work experience, don't feel that you need to include your part- time work from high school unless it directly relates to the position that you are interested in. If you are struggling for good work experience content, you can use your part time work and try to draw again on the measurable or business skills that you picked up. If you have a gap in your resume the best place to explain the reasons is in your cover letter. If it was a mini- mal amount of time you can some- times cover these gaps by using years rather than months when including dates in your work experience. RESUME DATABASES If you post your resume to a data- base, there are things that can be done to get your resume recognized. First of all, be sure to keep your resume up-to-date. Many resume databases will remove or deactivate resumes that haven't been updated in three to six months. Use keywords within your resume that an employer might use to search for candidates with your qualifications and skills. You can use current job postings that may be of interest to you --- look at the words used in those and select a few key- words that you can use in your resume. Keywords can be incorpo- rated into your resume in your past work experience and/or your career objective. While we hope you are happy in your current job and will not need your resume, it does not hurt to keep it fresh. Updating your resume is much easier as you go. Next month, we'll continue talking about making a great first impression as we review what makes a standout cover letter. For more information, contact AgCareers.com at agcareers@agcareers. com. AM EFFECTIVE RESUMES The Scoop on Recruiting
2008 Marketing Services Guide
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