Whether you are a recent graduate or have many years of work experience, your resume can be the doorway to a more fulfilling career. When a recruiter looks at your resume and decides whether to invite you for an interview, the “first appearances” rule applies. You only have a few seconds to make a good impression and set yourself apart from other candidates.

Why write a resume?
The point of writing a resume is to get you an interview. Once there, you have the opportunity to sell yourself and get the job. However, without the right resume to open the door, you may never get the chance. Be aware that within the first seven to ten seconds of reading your resume, the person screening applicants must be convinced that you merit further consideration. In that short window, they need to find and review a summary of your education, skills, accomplishments and experience!

Basic rules for a successful resume:

Certain general rules apply, no matter your level of experience or the job opportunity for which you apply.

1. Be brief:
If you have one to five years' experience, one page is sufficient. One or two pages are appropriate for a candidate with more than five years' experience. If you are mailing or faxing your resume, never go beyond two pages. If you are submitting your resume via an Internet application form or to a large employer with an automated applicant tracking system, you can submit a slightly longer or shorter resume, as it will not appear in a specific 8.5" x 11" format to the reviewer.

2. Use standard resume structure:
List jobs and education in chronological order with the most recent first. When listing specific tasks or accomplishments within a job summary, use bullet points whenever possible. Make it easy for the reader to follow the format.

3. Presentation is critical:
If you're mailing your resume or giving one out at your interview, it should be on white or off-white paper. Type in an easy-to-read font such as Times Roman, Arial or Helvetica, and in an easy-to read size (depending on the font, between 10 and 12 point). Don't make the mistake of using attention-getting colored paper, artistic borders or pictures. Don't cram in too much information. White space can be very effective as well as making it easier for the reader to absorb content. If you're emailing your resume as a Word document, or cutting and pasting it into an Internet job form, keep the format simple. Avoid using tables in your resume. Complicated indents, tabs and other formatting may get lost in translation to a different version of the software or job form and your information may be garbled or deleted.

We have provided you with a state-of-the art fully automated Resume Builder feature in our YouthNet system. Now you can build one or more professional resume in no time. You can print, save, or email the completed resume and make variations to the one you make anytime without any help. Its like having a full control over your resume so you can land on your dream job.

Resume Builder is a fully automated system. Should you require further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact our career coaches at Virgin Islands Department of Labor.

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