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Taking The Resume Reader's Needs Into Consideration

Oct 30, 2007
Before you write your own resume, examine professionally written resume samples to get ideas about writing styles and eye-catching resume formats. Then, write your resume with the reader in mind. If they are seeking someone with your background and skill set, be sure to make that the focus of your resume.

Do not use the resume templates that come with your word processor. They look like everyone else's resume on the hiring manager's desk.

Take the extra time needed to add visual appeal to your resume. If you are not able to do this effectively, you should seriously consider retaining the services of a professional resume writer. Be sure to ask them if they specialize in creating eye-catching resume formats in addition to their writing services.

Your goal should be to make a connection between what the hiring manager is seeking and what you have to offer in those select areas.

To get that message across at first glance, make your objective clear and highly visible. You can do this by creating a job title and positioning it prominently below your name and address. It tells the hiring manager what you are all about and sets the tone for the rest of the resume.

RESUME HEADING
Your resume heading should in bold and all caps such as this: REGIONAL SALES MANAGER

PROFILE
Your Profile or Summary section is a coutesy to the reader. It allows them to sum you up in short order. This important section sets the tone for the resume and highlights your key qualifications. This way the hiring manager can quickly get a sense who you professionally without having to read the entire resume.

Specifically, this section should list your number of years of experience, industry, credentials, and key attributes that are essential to the position you are targeting. For example, if the position is sales, your attributes would be strong communicator, strategic negotiator, and ability to establish and build key business relationships.

KEYWORDS
Keywords or industry jargon can be included in your Summary or throughout your entire resume (recommended) so you can communicate your select areas of skills by listing appropriate areas of interest specific to the job.

In the case scenario for a sales professional, these keywords might be as follows: relationship building, territory sales management, client consultation, public speaking, sales presentations, contract negotiations, value-added selling, client training and support. One of the best sources to find relevant keywords is in job ads.

ACHIEVEMENTS
This is no time to be shy and modest. You will want to toot your horn a bit by including your most impressive achievements. Your accomplishments should be presented in a factual or story telling way that gives the reader the sense that you do more than just your basic responsibilities and are not a clock watcher.

ACTION VERBS
Do not make the mistake of starting every sentence off with "responsible for". That is understood. Try playing with action verbs such as led, directed, supervised, spearheaded, steered, guided, and executed. Instead of writing a sentence like this: Responsible for distribution operations throughout the Metro New York Area, consider revising it to read like this: Managed distribution operations throughout the Metro New York Area. Here is another example: Led the success of distribution operations throughout the Metro New York Area.

CONSISTENCY
Watch for consistency in present and past tense. If you are no longer with a company, be sure to make it past tense. Just as important, triple check for typos. Have someone else read your resume for misspellings, dates, missing periods and obviously poor grammar.

Again, review professionally written resume samples to get ideas about writing styles and eye-catching resume formats. But, make the effort to make it your own.
About the Author
Ann Baehr is a CPRW resume writer and President of Best Resumes of New York. For more information about her resume writing service, visit Best Resumes of New York or Resume Samples
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