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Refresh Your Resume In Seven Easy Steps

Aug 17, 2007
If you've spent any time looking for a job, you'll know how important it is to get beyond 'first base' with a recruiter or employer -- in other words, to find ways to persuade the person who screens or assesses your job application that you represent a great fit for the post they're trying to fill.

These days, when many job openings attract hundreds of applicants, you're going to need a resume that jumps off the page and commands the attention that will get you an interview. There's no way to impress your prospective employers with your presentation skills if you're not invited to meet them!

This is a time when we open the windows to enjoy the fresh air of the new season. So what better time to revitalize your resume writing by giving it a spot of spring cleaning to take your career to the next level? Here are seven ways to give your resume or CV an energy boost for the coming year:

1. Revisit Your Resume Format: Don't automatically assume that the only way to present your information is in a 'reverse chronological' order. Many recruiters are used to this layout, it's true, but it may not be the best choice for your situation if you've had a choppy work history or if you want to change careers. Find out about how a functional resume format might be able to help you highlight your most marketable skills.

2.Rethink Your Objective: Your objective statement is probably one of the first things that will catch the eye. So don't confine yourself to a bland description of the sort of job you're looking for. Make it clear what benefits the employer would get from hiring you. Make the most of this prime position to summarize your attributes that will matter most to the reader.

3. Revise Your Profile to Suit the Job: It's unlikely that the specific demands of any two jobs will be precisely the same. That's why it's worth your time and trouble to tweak your resume to suit the specific needs of each application you make. Analyze the job description or ad to identify those skills that will need to be prominent.

4. Reiterate Your 'Can Do' Attitude: Consider highlighting the ways in which you've been a problem solver in your previous roles. Don't hide your light under the proverbial bushel! Give persuasive examples of how you successfully met a challenge, spearheaded an initiative or masterminded a project to demonstrate your positive and energetic potential.

5. Rephrase Your Accomplishments: Active verbs can show the value you have brought to your work in a dramatic way. Don't leave it up to the reader to interpret your achievements. Examine your resume for ways to use powerful language that emphasizes your contribution.

6. Represent Your Unique Qualities: Any applicant who has done their research and matches the basic criteria of the position stands some chance of being shortlisted -- but don't stop there. Ask yourself what makes you different from the crowd of other applicants. Use your unique individuality to showcase your attributes.

7. Review Your Resume's Legibility: It's easy to get so absorbed in drafting the perfect document that you lose sight of how it strikes the reader at first glance. Make good use of headers, bullet points and white space to ensure that it scans well -- to be read by computer software as well as human eyes.
About the Author
You can learn a lot about your resume's impact by comparing it to other resume examples. Give your resume or CV a polish by visiting http://1stclassresume.com where you can sign up for a practical newsletter and get tips such as how to improve your resume format, write a compelling objective statement and develop a great cover letter.
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