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What Is a Resume Label?
The primary meaning of a resume label is the name you give the document when saving it on your computer. No matter how professional, your resume may not be read or remembered unless you "label" it so it pops in an initial search and is easy to locate later. If your resume file name (or label) says who you are and perhaps even what you do, you'll be assured of a fighting chance in the search process. Labels can also refer to categories, keywords and phrases that should appear in your resume. Resume labels are crucial; think of them as leaving breadcrumbs to help employers find you.
The first and most important label involved in computer-generated resumes should be how you save the entire file. Most people are known by their first and last name; your resume should reflect you. Save your resume as "John Brown Resume.doc." You may also want to include a career title, such as "JohnBrownResume-Geologist.doc". It's acceptable to use spacing or not, and it's also OK to abbreviate titles. Some job seekers like to add a date so they'll remember when the resume was last revised.
Resume categories require another form of labeling in the headings and subheadings. According to the type of resume, these labels will vary; but it's a good idea to bring attention to each category through such techniques as bold print, the centering of text, underlining or shading.
The kinds of category labels and order of presentation depend on occupations and trends. Traditionally, the first resume section was titled Objective, but it's acceptable now to substitute a summary of experience and skills underneath the contact line, without using a heading at all. If you hold an impressive degree, it's a good idea to place the Education section next. Following this will be Work History, Major Accomplishments, Technical Skills and any other heading labels you feel necessary to highlight your qualifications.
The next type of label is really about identification. Keywords and phrases within a resume indicate what you can do that makes you right for the job. Always compare your resume to each job description. Any credentials relevant to the job should be listed on your resume. This is just another way of labeling yourself.
How Labels Affect Submissions
Somewhere along the way, your resume will most likely be added to an online database and forwarded to recruiters and hiring managers. You'll want these labels to cause your resume to stand out. In addition, you may be asked to fill out entry forms to accompany your resume. Correct form labels can also increase the odds that your resume will be seen. Complete all questions asked on company entry forms, including your name, geographic location and title. Even if you're currently unemployed, give your most credible job title.
Final Word on Labels
As important as a strong handshake in the interview, your ability to show you can format a user-friendly resume that's easy to navigate will not only help you land a job, it may be the reason you get noticed in the first place. So, make careful decisions about how you write your resume and how you save the finished file.
A North Carolinian with strong family ties, Sherry Bell spends much of her time writing resumes as part of her employment recruiting business. She earned an Associate in Applied Science in business administration from Rockingham Community College in N.C.