Writing your resume
A resume is a snapshot of your strengths, especially the how of why you are better than the others who have also applied. Your resume is a tool with one specific purpose: to win an interview. A resume is an advertisement, nothing more, nothing less.
Take this scenario.
You apply for a job that seems absolutely perfect for you. You send your resume with a cover letter to the prospective employer. Plenty of other people think the job sounds great too and apply for the job. A few days later, the employer is staring at a pile of several hundred resumes. Several hundred?you ask. Isn't that an inflated number? Not really. A job offer often attracts between 100 and 1,000 resumes these days, so you are facing a great deal of competition.
Back to the prospective employer staring at the huge stack of resumes: This person isn't any more excited about going through this pile of dry, boring documents than you would be. But they have to do it, so they dig in. After a few minutes, they are getting sleepy. They are not really focusing any more. Then, they run across your resume. Wouldn't it be great if as they start reading it, they perk up? The more they read, the more interested and awake they become?
Most resumes in the pile have only gotten a quick glance. But yours gets read, from beginning to end. Then, it gets put on top of the tiny pile of resumes that make the first cut. These are the people who will be asked in to interview.
How can that happen?
A great resume doesn't just tell your prospective employer what you have done but makes the same assertion that all good ads do: If you buy this product (Me), you will get these specific, direct benefits. It presents you in the best light. It convinces the employer that you have what it takes to be successful in this new position or career.
One of the main considerations for a person with vision impairment is: to disclose or not. This is a personal choice for it works both ways with advantages and obvious disadvantages. Should you choose one of either, it might be helpful to remember:
• On the Resume : Often, your disability is reflected in your work history, education, and life experience. Stress your adaptability.
• Cover Letter: Don't start the letter with details about a disability. Follow a format mentioning strengths and limitations.
Beginning the Resume Writing Process A General Resume Outline
• Local/Permanent Address
• Professional Objective
• Related Experience
• Additional Experience
• Personal (optional)
• References Types of Resumes (Select a format).
• Chronological Resume: The most commonly-used resume form that lists in reverse chronological order the person's work history.
• Achievement Resume: This resume emphasizes achievements with less emphasis on experience.
• Functional Resume: This format covers experience over a long period of time that can be grouped into skill areas, which highlights expertise rather than time frames.
• Recent Graduate Resume: This resume is for recent graduates with little or no work experience, emphasizing training and education.
When Writing a Resume:
• Stick to the basics
• Keep it short
• Reveal only what the employer needs to know
• Have a specific objective
• Preferably one page, never more than two pages tailored to a specific job or a specific employer
• Don't focus on your medical history
• Advertise your skills and not your disability.
Resume Writing Tips
Things to Do
• Lead with your most qualifying experience
• Consider a consolidated experience category
• Emphasize accomplishments
• Be generous with white space
• Use bullets, bold type, capital letters, and underlining
• Check continuity of history
• Have at least two other people review it
• Send your references a copy of your resume
• Use good paper
• Avoid anything negative, this may include disclosure of disability.
Things Not to Do:
• Don't exaggerate or mislead
• Don't state a salary
• Don't include names of references
• Don't include a photograph
• Don't include religion, race, national origin, or political affiliation
• Don't overstate your qualifications
• Don't include a reason for leaving your last job
• Don't use unusual abbreviations or acronyms.
Including a Cover Letter
A cover letter accompanies any resume mailed to a prospective employer. • The Heading : Your return address and date
• The Inside Address : The employer's name; company name; and company address
• Salutation or Greeting : Address the letter to a particular person by name. Avoid "Dear Sir/ Madam" or "To Whom It May Concern."
• The Body of the Letter : The body of the letter should include three paragraphs.
• Opening Paragraph: State what motivates you to write to this employer, the position for which you are applying, and how you heard about the position or the company.
• Middle Paragraph : Include a description of your education and work experience. Indicate how these relate to the position.
• Closing Paragraph : Inform the employer that you are available for a personal interview or to answer questions about your resume. Thank the employer for the company's consideration.
Cover Letter Writing Tips
Things to Do
• Make each letter an original
• Follow instructions in recruitment ads
• Keep the letter to one page
• Include your telephone number in the closing paragraph.
Things Not to Do
• Don't put your name in the heading
• Don't tell all in the letter
and finally, don't forget to follow up!