A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a potential client who was attempting to prepare a resume for the first time in her life.  She is a 17 year teaching veteran and the “simple task of writing (a resume) had become a dreaded project” for her to tackle. I feel the same type of frustration when I am asked to do tasks that I am not really qualified to do or passionate about completing.

As the above client quickly ascertained, there are many components to writing an effective resume but the most important one is usually overlooked. Simplicity.

HR professionals, selection committees, and recruiters will not take extra time to sort through a complex multi-page document.
Less is better. Concentrate on key skills, keep the information factual, and avoid unnecessary details.

Begin your resume with the basics – Contact Information, Summary, Work History, and Education.

Contact Information – Full Name, Current Address, Most Used Contact Phone #, and Email Address

Summary – Craft a cohesive statement that is focused, positive, and gives an accurate but brief overview of your key
skills and ability. Remember the intent of your resume is to market your abilities and secure interviews. Quickly establish why you are “the” candidate.

Work History – Include employer name (include city and state if positions are not focused within one region), dates of employment (by year; 2007 – 2011 rather than by month 3/2007 – 4/2011) and position held. Bullet points should be used for accomplishment statements or to highlight efforts. No need to provide detail after detail or information dating beyond 15 years.

Education – Experienced individuals should place education at the bottom of the page. Recent graduates after the Summary information.

Ministry specific resumes
— utilize personal information including marital status, number of children, and hobbies (health status is optional).

Pastoral Proclamation – Core beliefs. Again, simplicity is key so save major details for the interview.

References – References may be listed at the bottom of the page or prepared as a collateral piece that matches the resume and cover letter.

In closing, play the role of employer or selection committee. In hiring a candidate, what essential information would you need to know to qualify a candidate? First and foremost, make sure the information you have selected is focused on the position you are seeking. Second, weed out any redundancies so each entry is fresh and captivating. And lastly, make sure your document is spelling error free.

If you have started out trying to write your own document and have ended up frustrated and dreading what to say next,
get in touch with a certified professional resume writer who will communicate your value with excellence and passion.

About the Author:
Tammy Shoup, Executive Director and Head Writer of Breakthrough Résumés, is among a small number of professional résumé writers in the U.S. who has earned the title of Certified Professional Résumé Writer from the Professional Association of Résumé Writers / Career Coaches. Her firm is the country’s leading Christian resume writing service dedicated to helping Pastoral Candidates and Ministry Workers develop dynamic job search documents that win interviews.Shoup is also a member of the National Résumé Writers’ Association and Career Directors International. Her activity in both organizations ensures that her knowledge of industry and employment trends remains current. It also indicates her dedication to continuing education in her industry. Her work is published in both JIST and Barron’s career books. Please review Shoup’s information at www.breakthroughrésumés.com or www.tammyshoup.com or inquire directly to Tammy Shoup at awordpro@aol.com

Wishing you the best in your job search campaign!