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Some companies require job applicants to complete both a resume and an application form. Typically, the application will have sections like contact information, job history, education and skills. Applications generally require a signature, which also authorizes the employer to do a background check or gather other personal information about the applicant. If a resume is required, you should customize it for the specific job you are seeking.
Preparation and Layout
Analyze the advertisement for the job and identify specific skills, experience and education that are required for the position. Jot this information down on a sheet of paper, but leave space underneath each item for notes about your qualifications. Note your matching qualifications under each requirement.
Write a career objective about yourself that shows that you clearly understand the position you're applying for, and that you believe you could help the company achieve its goals. Write this from the perspective of the employer, thinking about what he is looking for, not just what you want.
List each job that you've held with starting and ending dates and position titles, as well as company names. Prepare this list with most recent job first (reverse chronological order). If the application form requests that you give reasons for why you left each position, describe these reasons in positive ways. For example: if you were laid off, state that, but also note mitigating factors such as the end of a project.
List the schools you have attended and the degrees attained. If you have completed additional coursework that is pertinent to the job, list this as well.
List special skills. These may include expertise in software programs, operating machinery or other skills pertinent to the job.
Lay out the resume in an easily readable format. Center headings for each section and use a bold font to highlight them. Be sure to leave space between each section. Don’t try to cram too much on the page.
Get a friend or family member to read the resume and help you find mistakes. Use your computer's spell checker. Set it aside for a day and review it again. Make corrections and print.
Use active verbs and avoid rambling. Be concise. Remember that the employer may look at hundreds of resumes and does not want to waste time on a poorly written one.
- Use active verbs and avoid rambling. Be concise. Remember that the employer may look at hundreds of resumes and does not want to waste time on a poorly written one.
Nancy Landahl is a business consultant who began writing in 1996 for business process transformation consulting firms with Fortune 100 clients. Her first article was published in “The Woman CPA.” She is a certified public accountant and has a Master of Science in accounting from Colorado State University.