The purpose of a resume is to get you a job interview. Rarely is anyone hired solely on the basis of a resume. Indeed, most employers use resumes for the initial screening of job applicants. A resume that inspires a potential employer to interview you is one that conveys your talents and clearly demonstrates your ability to produce results that align with the particular company's goals. This is why it's so important to research your potential employers.
Make certain you know to whom you are writing: learn about the company's history, its mission, needs and problems; determine the ways your skills can contribute to the company's success; and finally, ascertain the name and title of the person in charge of hiring (which isn't always the personnel administrator).
Your cover letter is an integral part of your resume packet. This is where you build rapport. Keep your tone friendly and use terminology that's appropriate to your field. Open your letter with something you find interesting about the company and describe how you can be of direct benefit to the company. Close your letter by requesting an interview.
In the massage field, your resume may be very different from traditional ones, where the focus is demonstrating results, and that may be difficult for you to do. It's important to think of your resume not in terms of a biography, but as a prospectus for your future.
The two major types of resumes are chronological and functional (see below). A chronological resume is used when you want to emphasize a good work history that is directly related to your desired job. A functional resume is used when you want to emphasize your talents, abilities and potential-not your work history. In most instances, massage therapists use more of a functional resume or sometimes just a targeted personal letter. A resume is a useful tool for promotion, even if you own your own business. If nothing else, the process of developing your resume clarifies your strengths and reinforces your self-esteem.
Need help polishing your resume? Visit Resume Writing in Issue 3's Online Resources.