The following post is courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap:
While it is ideal to effortlessly craft a masterpiece resume that's irresistible to any employer, the reality is most people hate writing their resume and the result can often be obvious in the finished product. Poorly presented resumes communicate a lot more than what is written on the page. They tell employers that the candidate may lack attention to detail, follow-through, and quality.
The simple solution is to have a professional help you, but while that’s not always feasible there are some things you can do to instantly make your resume more competitive with the professionally written resumes used by many of your fellow candidates.
1. Accomplishments are the name of the game! In today’s job market, you must be able to show you can create results. Do so wherever you can – in your introduction, job descriptions, education. Accomplishments are preferably measurable, but can be any kind of unique contribution (i.e. time saved, processes improved, corporate awards, academic honors, etc.) These will set you apart from candidates who just list responsibilities.
2. Create an introduction. Jumping right into your work experience or education leaves hiring managers with at least three unanswered question: What position are you targeting? What are your unique selling points? How do they benefit our company? Using the top of your resume to answer these questions in a compelling way sets the stage for your resume and gives you a professional identity (a.k.a. your personal brand). Avoid using an objective as these are only focused on the candidate. Instead focus on what you can do for the company with a keyword-rich introduction.
3. Include your contact information, but not personal information. Always, always, always include your email address, phone number, and at least the city you call home (if not your mailing address). However, to portray professionalism, refrain from including your photo, marital status, health information, or any identifiers that are not relevant to the position. Your personal profile is no one’s business but yours!
4. Watch your white space. By that I mean the area of your resume not covered with words. Create a balance by breaking up big blocks of text, and reversely ensure there are no awkward, empty spots on your resume.
5. Watch your length. A professor once told me good writing (resumes included) should be like a skirt: Long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to be interesting. The former quality is equally as important as the latter. Including every detail about yourself and your previous jobs will not make you a better candidate, nor will a vague, sparse resume. If your resume is more than two pages, it needs editing. Reversely, if you have trouble filling an entire page, you need to do a more full evaluation of your skills and experiences.
There are a number of ways you can make your resume more competitive with professionally written resumes. By utilizing the tips above, you can begin to enhance your resume’s quality and stand out in the crowd.
Author: Cathy Eng, CARW, Owner of Resume Rocketeer, Inc.
Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.
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