Resume Writing Tips 

The overall purpose of your resume is to highlight your accomplishments and qualifications to a potential employer. You want your resume to paint a clear picture of how your unique skill-set can benefit their company and the particular position you are interested in. 

No matter how well written and organized it is, a resume will not get you a job by itself. However, a well-crafted resume will attract the attention of the hiring manager and give you a clear advantage when vying for a phone or in-person interview. To help you along the way, we've included a few guidelines to use as you write or update your technical resume. Structure your resume for impact and clarity. 

Your resume will serve as a potential employer's first example of your communication and organizational skills. For this reason, the information you present must be logically structured and clearly written. One of the most common and acceptable ways to organize a technical resume is as follows: 

here 1. Name and Contact Information: This information, which includes your full name, address, phone number and email address, should be centered in bold type at the top of the first page. 

2. Objective: This is a brief statement about how you could use your skills to successfully fulfill the roles and responsibilities related to the job. 

3. Skills Summary: This brief summary area is used to catch the eye of a potential employer. It highlights important experiences and areas of expertise (i.e. hardware, software, languages, databases, operating systems, web tools, etc.) from your current and past jobs. List only areas you are proficient in, and leave out tools/environments you do not want to continue working in. 

go site 4. Employment History: Starting with the most recent, this section describes work experiences from the past 15 years. It should include the dates of employment, the job title, company name and brief, bulleted descriptions of your role and responsibilities for each job included. 

go here 5. Education and Certifications: This section includes the name, city and state of all colleges, universities and technical institutions you've attended, your degree, certification or field of study and your grade point average (if applicable). You can also include any training courses, seminars and workshops you've completed in this section. 

6. Achievements: This section should contain a short list of achievements and awards related to your career and education. 

Even if you list your technical skills in a summary section, research has shown that hiring managers for technical positions want to know which skills you used for each job you've had. Make sure to include that specific information in your Employment History. 

If you worked in a temporary or contract positions, note that in your Employment History to avoid the impression that you change jobs relatively quickly. 

go here Keep it concise. 

Employers have lots to do, so don't make the mistake of asking them to read through an unnecessarily long resume. A long, wordy resume will put off someone who is already short on time. Resumes should be one page, if possible, and two if absolutely necessary to describe relevant work experience. A two-page resume is no advantage if it's full of information that isn't reasonably applicable to the position you're applying for. Use the space only if you need it to fully disclose your accomplishments. 

Choose your words carefully. 

Your use of language is extremely important; you need to sell yourself to an employer quickly and efficiently. Address your potential employer's needs with a clearly written, compelling resume. 

  • Avoid large paragraphs (over six or seven lines) as resumes are often scanned by hiring managers. If you provide small, digestible pieces of information, you stand a better chance of having your resume actually read.
  • Use action verbs such as "developed," "managed" and "designed" to emphasize your accomplishments.
  • Don't use declarative sentences like "I developed the..." or "I assisted in..."; leave out the "I."
  • Avoid passive constructions, such as "was responsible for managing." It's not only more efficient to say "Managed," it's stronger and more active.

Make the most of your experience. 

Potential employers need to know what you have accomplished to have an idea of what you can do for them. 

  • Don't be vague. Describe things that can be measured objectively. Telling someone that you "improved warehouse efficiency" doesn't say much. Telling them that you "cut requisition costs by 20%, saving the company $3800 for the fiscal year" does. Employers will feel more comfortable hiring you if they can verify your accomplishments.
  • Be honest. There is a difference between making the most of your experience and exaggerating or falsifying it. A falsified resume can be easily spotted by an employer (if not immediately, then during the interview process). If it doesn't prevent you from getting the job, it can cost you the job later on.

Don't neglect appearance. 

Your resume is the first impression you'll make on a potential employer, and a successful resume depends on more than what you say. Before you finalize your resume, make sure you: 

  • Check it for proper grammar and correct spelling evidence of good communication skills and attention to detail. Nothing can ruin your chances of getting a job faster than submitting a resume filled with easily preventable mistakes.
  • Make your resume is easy on the eyes. Use normal margins (1" on the top and bottom, 1.25" on the sides) and don't cram your text onto the page. Allow for some breathing room between the different sections. Avoid unusual or exotic font styles; use simple fonts with a professional look.


Answers to Common Interview Questions

Your ability to quickly and confidently answer tough interview questions is a key factor in the overall impression you will make on potential employers. To ensure you are as prepared as possible, look through the questions and advice below so you can formulate your own brief, yet informative answers. If you are nervous about remembering your answers during the interview, you should write your answers down and practice speaking them aloud.

Answers to Common Interview Questions

Your ability to quickly and confidently answer tough interview questions is a key factor in the overall impression you will make on potential employers. To ensure you are as prepared as possible, look through the questions and advice below so you can formulate your own brief, yet informative answers. If you are nervous about remembering your answers during the interview, you should write your answers down and practice speaking them aloud.

"Tell me about yourself."

This question calls for a short, organized statement of your education, professional achievements and professional goals. Then, you can briefly describe your qualifications for the job and the contributions you could make to the organization.

"Why do you want to work here?" or "What about our company interests you?"

Few questions are more important than these, so it is important to answer them clearly and with enthusiasm. To show the interviewer your interest in the company, share what you have learned about the job, the company and the industry through your own research. You should also talk about how your professional skills will match up to the position and your personal career ambitions. Do not mention the position's salary or any benefits. That could leave the interviewer wondering if you really care about the job.

"Why did you leave your last job?"

The interviewer may want to know if you had any problems at your last job. If you did not have any problems, simply give a reason, such as: you relocated away from job; the company went out of business; you were laid off; it was a temporary or contract position; there was no possibility of advancement; you want a job better suited to your skills.

If you did have problems, be honest. Show that you can accept responsibility and learn from your mistakes. You should explain any problems you had (or still have) with an employer, but make sure you don't describe that employer in negative terms. Demonstrate that it was a learning experience that will not affect your future work.

"What are your strongest skills?"

If you have sufficiently researched the organization, you should be able to imagine what skills and experience the company values. List them, and then give examples where you have demonstrated these skills in past jobs. Some great skills that apply to all jobs include: communication and writing skills, being detail oriented, being a self-starter, etc.

"What is your major weakness?"

Be positive and turn a weakness into a strength for this answer. For example, you might say, "I am a perfectionist and often worry too much over my work. Sometimes I work late to make sure the job is done well."

"Do you prefer to work by yourself or with others?"

The ideal answer is one centered around flexibility. However, be honest. Give examples describing how you have worked well in both situations.

"What are your career goals?" or "What are your future plans?"

The answer to this question can tell the interviewer whether your plans and the company's goals are compatible. Let him/her know that you are ambitious enough to plan ahead. Talk about your desire to learn more and improve your performance, and be as specific as possible about how you will meet the goals you have set for yourself.

"What are your hobbies?" and "Do you play any sports?"

When this question is asked, the interviewer is looking for evidence of your job skills outside of your professional experience. For example, hobbies such as chess or bridge demonstrate analytical skills. Reading, music, and painting are creative hobbies. Individual sports show determination and stamina, while group sport activities may indicate you are comfortable working as part of a team.

An interviewer might also ask this question if he/she is simply curious as to whether you have a life outside of work. Employees who have creative or athletic outlets for their stress are often healthier, happier and more productive.

"What salary are you expecting?"

You probably don't want to answer this question directly. Instead, deflect the question back to the interviewer by saying something like: "I don't know. What are you planning to pay the best candidate?" Let the employer make the first offer.

If you don't know what the current salary range is for the positions you are applying to, you should find out so you are prepared to negotiate when the time comes. You can find salary surveys at the library or on the Internet, and check the classifieds to see what comparable jobs in your area are paying. This information can help you negotiate compensation once the employer makes an offer.

"What have I forgotten to ask?"

Use your answer to this question to summarize your unique characteristics and attributes and how they may be used to benefit the organization. Convince the interviewer that you understand the job requirements and that you can succeed.

Apartment Industry Career Videos

The series of videos below demonstrate and explain the career paths offered in the Apartment Industry. This series of videos was published by the National Apartment Association Education Institute and you can view their videos on the CXC Talent Solutions YouTube Channel (ADD LINK TO CXC TALENT YOUTUBE CHANNEL).

  • Overview of Careers in Apartment/Multi-family Industry

  • Leasing Careers in the Apartment Industry

  • Maintenance Careers in the Apartment Industry

  • Management Careers in the Apartment Industry



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