According to resumeedge.com, the average hiring manager will review over
1,000 resumes to fill a single position listed on popular job sites or in
the classifieds sections of major newspapers. To stand out, you need a
flawlessly written, skillfully crafted resume that showcases your skills and
But let's face it. Most of us are not skilled resume writers. Most of us
can't even spell. So, unless you are willing to hire a Certified
Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), this can be a tedious, unpleasant task.
But you must do it if you want an interview. Lucky for you, there are some
general, simple rules about writing winning resumes that you can follow to
give yourself an edge.
WHO ARE YOU AND HOW DO I REACH YOU?
I have received resumes with no phone numbers, e-mail addresses and/or
names. Sometimes there were e-mail addresses, but they were so vulgar, I
thought I'd be fired if anyone ever saw it on my desk. And then other times,
the font is so out there - Qs become 2s, Ts become bs, numbers look like
letters, letters look like symbols...and well, I've got hundreds of other
resumes to choose from, I don 't need this! Keep it simple. Begin your
resume by centering your name, bolding it for added emphasis. Separate your
most important contact information (phone numbers and e-mail) flush left and
flush right. Now, a hiring manager has quick access to this data.
P.S. If your name is Steve and a hiring manager sees Setve - they are going
to assume you are Russian, call you Setve. Please don't correct them. Better
to be Setve than to admit you misspelled your own name.
OBJECT TO THE OBJECTIVE
Employ a Qualifications section - a summary that emphasizes your talents.
Unlike an objective that tells a hiring manager what you want, a
Qualifications summary tells them what you can offer their company. And
that's what they are going to be paying you the big bucks for. If you must
have an Objective, you can place it in a cover letter, tailoring it to fit
the specific company.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND EXPERIENCE
Did you know that most applicants receive no more than ten seconds
of consideration before being excluded from the placement process?
Recruiters are busy and have little time to afford to each resume. Because a
resume is read so quickly, it's essential to make your accomplishments stand
out. Visual distinction between your job duties and accomplishments is a
must! Use bullet points. List only jobs that bear relevancy to your current
professional goals. And please don't use personal pronouns (I, me, we).
These make the documents seem far too casual
you're trying to project
Here's the truth. Hiring managers don't care that much about where you went
to school, when you graduated, the courses that you took and the awards that
you received. So this should be at the end of the resume. Even if you just
graduated. Professional experience is more important. $80,000, 3 dean's
lists, multiple awards and honors and a 3.95 GPA later...trust me, the truth
hurts me too!
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND OTHER
Make sure they are relevant to your professional goals and make sure they
are at the bottom of the resume.
Personally, I don't have enough time to read cover letters. I find them
annoying, redundant and they are just another opportunity to misspell a word
or ten. However, there are HR people out there for whom a dynamic,
professionally written cover letter can be an impressive complement to your
resume. But I don't write or read them, so do an Internet search for some
good cover letter writing advice from someone who does.
Try to keep your
resume to one page by beginning with work started immediately upon
Do not include
References Available Upon Request,
as most employers understand that
you will provide them. They are generally not requested until you
actually fill out a job application. And there are some recruiters out
there that will use those contacts for the purposes of filling the
same position you are applying for.
If you are just
starting out in your career, list computer skills to showcase your
ability to work with various pieces of software.
Check, double check,
triple check for typos and misspellings.
Make the font big
enough for the 25 and 55 year-old Recruiters to read.
Keep your D.O.B,
picture and drawings off the resume.
Bring a hard copy to
all of your interviews and make sure you don't whip it out of your back
Print your resume on
you follow this advice, you should have a powerful, well-organized tool
filled with pertinent data - A proper resume. Happy job hunting!
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