To get that perfect job you must market yourself! One of your most important self-marketing tools is your resume. Your resume is your personal promotional brochure. It showcases your experience and accomplishments for potential employers and your strategy should be to emphasize experience and skills that employers you're interested in are looking for.
Remember that your resume demonstrates your communication and organizational skills. Before placing it in front of those potential employers be certain that you've spent sufficient time preparing it for view, then go over it again. After you're satisfied with its perfection have a friend or colleague, whose analytical skills you trust, review it for you. Only after all of this preparation will your resume be capable of separating you from the masses and attracting the attention of employers.
Three major resume formats exist for you to choose from. Each possesses benefits and drawbacks. Your personal situation should determine which format you select. The Chronological format is the most common resume style, and the one that most employers prefer. If there are no valid reasons for not using it, then select the Chronological format.
1. The Chronological Resume
This traditional style resume lists your professional experience chronologically, with your most recent position listed first. In the Chronological format, the emphasis is on employment experience. Most employers are familiar with and prefer this format. BUT if you recently graduated, have held jobs with no relevance to the positions you're currently looking for, or you're re-entering the workforce after a long absence, then the Chronological resume will emphasize your lack of experience. In these cases you should consider the Functional resume format.
2. The Functional Resume
This format emphasizes your skills and achievements instead of your work history. If your work history is minimal, has gaps, or you're changing fields then the functional format will focus attention on your skills and any relevant experience, including your educational experiences. Your employment history is avoided completely or very briefly summarized at the beginning of the resume.
3. The Combination Resume
This format is primarily a Functional resume with a short chronological order employment history. Relevant skills and accomplishments are provided first, then followed by your employment history. This format has been gaining in popularity, but the chronological resume still ranks as the employer's favorite.
Web Resume Keywords are how employers find you in our database. For example if an employer is looking for a PhD with clinical research experience, then the terms PhD and Clinical Research must be in your resume for you to appear in their search results. If you are particularly interested in Immunology or Pharmacokinetics, then these terms must be in your resume for employers in those specific fields to easily locate you.
Keywords are usually nouns but may also include skill and experience verbs such as Diagnostic Development or FDA submissions. Acronyms and industry terminology are also important resume keywords. Some examples are QA, HPLC, ELISA, RIA, PCR, and SQL.
Keep it brief and concise. Avoid large paragraphs. If possible resumes should be on one page. Two pages are acceptable if you have extensive relevant work experience to describe. Never print on the backside of the paper.
Emphasize specific skills and achievements when describing your previous work responsibilities. Employers are particularly interested in candidates that exhibit self-confidence, written and verbal communication skills, initiative and motivation, analytical abilities, flexibility, and strong team working skills.
Use standard page margins and fonts. The standard page margins are 1" on the top and bottom with 1.25" on the sides. (This does NOT apply to web based resumes! See the Electronic Resumes article for specific directions on formatting a web based resume like the one used in the MedZilla database.) Fonts such as Arial and Times New Roman are the most widely used and therefore will appear as you intended when an employer opens your emailed resume attachment. Keep all of your font sizes between 10 and 14. Stick with the same font throughout the resume.
Eliminate unnecessary resume details. Hobbies and other personal interests should only be included if they relate to the positions you're interested in.
Check your resume for proper grammar and correct spelling! This cannot be emphasized enough. Poor grammar and misspelled words cause a potential employer to question your attention to detail and the quality of your work. With a sea of applicants to select from why should they bother with an individual with a poor resume? Remember your resume is your personal promotional brochure. After checking your resume for grammar and spelling have some friends or colleagues look it over, the more the better.
With each viewing and edit your resume becomes more polished and will be more successful at its purpose- bringing you to employers' attention.