Resumes and application forms are two ways to achieve the same
goal: To give the employer written evidence of your qualifications.
When creating a resume or completing an application form, you
need two different kinds of information: Facts about yourself
and facts about the job you want. With this information in hand,
you can present the facts about yourself in terms of the job.
You have more freedom with a resume--you can put your best points
first and avoid blanks. But, even on application forms, you
can describe your qualifications in terms of the job's duties.
thyself. Begin by assembling information about
yourself. Some items appear on virtually every resume or application
form, including he following:
- Current address and phone number--if you
are rarely at home during business hours, try to give the
phone number of a friend or relative who will take messages
- Job sought or career goal.
- Experience (paid and volunteer) -- date
of employment, name and full address of the employer, job
title, starting and finishing salary, and reason for leaving
(moving, returning to school, and seeking a better position
are among the readily accepted reasons).
- Education--the school's name, the city
in which it is located, the years you attended it, the diploma
or certificate you earned, and the course of studies you pursued.
- Other qualifications--hobbies, organizations
you belong to, honors you have received, and leadership positions
you have held.
- Office machines, tools, and equipment you
have used and skills that you possess.
Other information, such as your Social Security
or Insurance number, is often asked for on application forms
but is rarely presented on resumes. Application forms might
also ask for a record of past addresses and for information
that you would rather not reveal, such as a record of convictions.
If asked for such information, you must be honest. Honesty does
not, however, require that you reveal disabilities that do not
affect your overall qualifications for a job.
thy job. Next, gather specific information about
the jobs you are applying for. You need to know the pay range
(so you can make their top your bottom), education and experience
usually required, hours and shifts usually worked. Most importantly,
you need to know the job duties (so that you can describe your
experience in terms of those duties). Study the job description.
Some job announcements, especially those issued by a government,
even have a checklist that assigns a numerical weight to different
qualifications so that you can be certain as to which is the
most important; looking at such announcements will give you
an idea of what employers look for even if you do not wish to
apply for a government job. If the announcement or ad is vague,
call the employer to learn what is sought.
Once you have the information you need, you
can prepare a resume. You may need to prepare more than one
master resume if you are going to look for different kinds of
jobs. Otherwise, your resume will not fit the job you seek.