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Does Your Resume Writing Make The Grade?

Aug 17, 2007
When a job vacancy attracts a popular response, the recruiter simply may not have time to read each and every application in its entirety. That's why it's so important to have a resume that catches the reader's immediate interest and gets your application the attention it deserves.

If you fail at this stage, you run the risk of having your resume consigned to the pile marked 'regrets'. But because time is at a premium, it's also difficult to get feedback about why your application didn't make the shortlist.

So if your resume isn't getting you through the interviewer's door for the jobs you want, it's time to re-think your strategy. Here are three questions to help you give your resume a quick assessment test:

1. Do you know enough about your prospective employer?

These days, it's easy to find out details about almost any company by doing research online. Enter the name in the search engine of your choice and look for the company website. If they have a section devoted to press releases or other media information, you may find freshly updated news about recent developments.

You may also be able to obtain company brochures and reports. Check to see if these are available as PDF documents which you can download to your computer. This will be quicker than ordering them to be sent by mail.

You can also visit the websites of local or national newspapers to look for articles which refer to the company.

The information you find will help you to fine tune your resume and highlight your appropriate strengths and assets. It's also very helpful to show your familiarity with the company in your cover letter, follow-up correspondence and interview discussion.

2. Have you written a summary statement or profile that is geared to the employer's immediate requirements?

The beginning of your resume (under your contact information) is a great spot in which to put your most persuasive selling points. This is where you can mention your current job level and the field in which you've gained the bulk of your experience. Make sure to mention the results of your activities, not just a list of the duties your work comprises.

Analyze the job advertisement or description to find basic competencies that the employer wants and map your own skills against these requirements. Make sure to include appropriate keywords in this section that will help to score a match in resume scanning software.

3. Do you back up your claims with convincing evidence?

Avoid casting doubt on your attributes by being vague on key details. Measure your accomplishments wherever possible to validate your skills. You can use figures, percentages or other data to quantify aspects such as:

* numbers of personnel managed
* successes in financial or budgetary management
* achievements such as improved performance against targets or a time-scale

Avoid weakening your credibility by including anything in your resume that wouldn't stand up to scrutiny in an interview. Make sure you can justify every detail with solid evidence.

If your resume isn't getting you results, maybe it's time to redraft. A powerful summary backed up by persuasive evidence can help your resume to pass the ten second 'scan test'.
About the Author
Nigel Patterson is a business writer and publisher of http://1stClassResume.com

Visit his website for a full resume writing guide.
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