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The Art of Making a Resume

As you go through your life (the younger years), you always hear people say: “I’m just doing this to fill out my resume.” But is your resume anything to write home about? Maybe it’s time to take a closer look at your resume or create a new one! This is no easy task, though. It’s going to take preparation and diligence to get your resume to the caliber you want. Future employers will likely assess your resume based on your CQR:

Certifications

Qualifications

Recommendations

So, whether you want a traditional paper resume or an outstanding t-shirt resume like the picture above, here’s what you can do to improve these 3 criteria and make your talents pop!

Certifications

What are your certifications?

#1: Certifications: Degree, Official Training, etc…

Certifications are very important. Most employers want more than just your word that you can actually do what you claim! Depending on the job, you’ll be required to have a certain level of certification or a certain level of education (or both). A simple certification is a great way to cut costs in the first place, but if you are on a tight budget you can find a college that offers an online education program that will certify you in a trade area. Sometimes a certification is all you need for the career you would like to pursue, so check the facts before proceeding. If you are required to get a full-blown degree, then there is a number of great ways you can avoid inflated costs. For instance, most colleges now offer online degrees for students with busy schedules and/or full-time jobs. Just remember that it’s crucial to have some sort of certification under your belt!

Qualifications

What are your qualifications?

#2: Qualifications: Life Experiences, Leadership Roles, etc…

This criterion is scrutinized by almost every employer, but its importance is weighed by the interviewer. Do you recall all of those activities that fit into the “I’m doing this because it will look good on a resume” category? Give them a home in the qualifications area of your resume; anything from church activities to sports teams will be a good fit. In addition to your life experiences, previous job experience should also fill the qualifications section. Play up your relevant job experience and accomplishments to gain a competitive edge. Relevant job experience shows prospective employers that you’re both qualified for and passionate about the position for which you’ve applied.

Recommendations

Can you get recommendations?

#3: Recommendations: Professors, Employers, etc…

Caution: though it’s often blown off by applicants, this section of your resume should be carefully put together. You can include professors, church authority figures, family friends, or anyone else you feel would positively impact your application, but be extremely selective about whom you ask. Make sure that your references are reputable figures who think highly of you. Recommendations can reaffirm or utterly destroy the thoughts the employer has about you thus far! Before listing your references, you have to verify that the people you list are going to ONLY say positive things about you. Your lifelong friends or previous employers could give interviewers “constructive” criticism about your job performance instead of backing up your resume’s claims (I’ve seen this happen in the past, and it’s not pretty). To be safe, always check your references before you list them on your resume.

I am confident that perfecting these 3 criteria will allow you to get your foot in the door and provide a better foundation to market yourself in the future.

What do you think are the most important aspects of a resume? Which aspects of resume writing do you struggle with the most? Have you ever used clever, attention-grabbing promotional products (like the resume t-shirt in the heading picture) in tandem with your resume to set yourself apart from other candidates in interviews or at job fairs? Check out our massive selection of giveaway items if you need product ideas.

Don’t forget to comment about your resume experiences – we’d love to hear your thoughts, your tales of horror, and your success stories!

Image Credits



QLP Kid

The QLP Kid, or "Shorty" as he's known around the office, has never been much for long-winded posts or cryptic language. Straightforward and simple is the name of his blogging game, and he's particularly fond of topics that relate to entrepreneurship and business. On a more personal note, cereal is the QLP Kid's favorite food and he doesn't care who knows it.

Comments

  1. Big Boss Man

    This is a great post!

    I’ve seen my fair share of utterly LAUGHABLE resumes over the years. I’ve always wanted to vent on this topic, so here is a list of my top pet peeves when it comes to peoples’ resumes:

    a.) Spelling & Grammar
    ————-
    I’ve seen people spell the name of their past employers wrong, list completely insane dates of employment (like the year 2999), incomplete phone #s (so even if you liked the candidate I have no means of contacting them)!; just downright horrible stuff. I’ve noticed a trend however… The people who SAY they are strong spellers on their resume tend to be the ones with the most spelling mistakes.

    b.) Self Glorification
    ————-
    You worked as a sales clerk at 7-11; I think I can guess what kind of work and responsibilities this job entailed. Don’t send me a 7 page resume explaining how you were responsible for Slurpy duty and balancing the cash register at the end of the night – I think I can figure that much out for myself. I love, Love, LOVE when people make claims like… as the janitor I helped the company grown revenues nationally by 1 Billion Dollars! Mop… Mop… Mop…

    c.) Bible Long Resumes
    ————-
    Give me the highlights of your work history, not your life story. The shorter the resume the better. Any resume longer than 2 pages I immediately disregard. This isn’t match.com; I don’t want to date you, and I could give a damn that you once kissed a girl (or guy), just tell me what you did and move on.

    As you can tell… I can go on and ON about this topic, but this comment is already enough fodder for it’s very own post! :)

    PS. Positive story, one time we had a candidate actually read up about the history of the company that he was interviewing for, he came across a little background info about one of the owners, and submitted his resume on a photo frame representing that moment in the owners past. Kind of stalkerish but effective!

  2. QLP Jill

    That resume shirt rocks! I wouldn’t wear that to a job interview (unless it was a very relaxed atmosphere) but I’d definitely wear it to employment fairs. During my college graduation ceremony, I saw people who used all sorts of promo items to promote themselves: there was a girl who taped a colorful, square poster to the top of her grad cap and a guy who printed his entire resume on the back of his jacket, for example. Creativity comes in handy everywhere, but it’s especially useful for resume composition.

    Oh, and good call on double and triple-checking your employment references! Some employers/friends won’t even hesitate to blab “questionable” details about you…could you imagine a job interview going sour because of someone you know and trust?

  3. QLP Kid

    haha, i would totally hire her…uh…she looks creative =)

    But seriously, small things like that can make a potential employer laugh and bingo you have your foot in the door.

  4. Scooby DOO!

    Number one rule= Cut the crap. I cannot tell you how many times our BS detector needle is buried.

    The second golden rule, is don’t glorify your past job. If you worked in the mail room, that’s fine, just do not call yourself a logistics manager.

    The final tip: everyone purports that they are hard workers, and team players (see rule one), so tell me something uniquely you. It’s expected that you can breathe on your own and so is that you work hard and work with others.

    Ok, may be just ONE more. If you are using careerbuilder.com, monster.com, and you use a pre-fab cover letter, don’t be a jamoke (Urban dictionary states, and I quote, ” A clumsy loser who is incapable of doing normal human tasks.”), and write:

    “I am excited about the position you listed on ________ .”

    or.. better yet, forget to change the job title that you are applying for. It’s embarrassing.

    There you have it, now go get some VALUABLE experience, write a decent resume, and then come see bubba.

  5. Donn

    Great writing! Everyone should know how to write a resume at some point in their lives!

    Fondest Regards,
    Donn

  6. lefler insurance

    Great post!

    Genevieve

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