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Ten Quick Steps To A Great Resume

Nov 3, 2007
Depending on how your resume looks, hiring managers will either be turned off or want to meet you. A resume is usually their first contact with you. A great resume will give a strong first impression.

1. Having a three to five sentence summary at the top of your resume is much more effective than having an objective. You can use the career summary to sum up your skills and experiences. For example: "Supply chain manager with global experience in leadership, implementation, and project management. Skilled in..." Let them know up front who you are and what position you're seeking.

2. Do you have several years of work experience? Move the Education section to the end (after the Experience section) so that you can showcase your work experience. (If you are preparing a resume for academia or research, then follow the resume formatting rules for your profession.)

3. Create a text version of your resume for posting online. That way if you post your MS Word resume and the formatting is lost, you won't have to waste time reformatting your resume.

4. Check job ads for the types of jobs you're applying for. See what keywords they use in their job descriptions and include those keywords in your resume. If the company uses software to scan resumes for keywords, you'll ensure your resume won't be screened out before it gets to a hiring manager. This is where the summary really comes in handy. You can add those keywords to the summary and increase your chances of having your resume selected.

5. When preparing your resume, use action words such as "leveraged," "led," "coordinated," "managed," etc. Words like, "participated" give the impression that you were on the sidelines, and not actively involved in the project. Don't just say you were responsible, show the results. Were there any cost savings for the company? Mention them. Was your project completed ahead of schedule? Say so. Did your project lead to increased efficiency? Show the percentages.

6. When describing your current and past positions, only list the strongest accomplishments - the ones that will make a prospective employer contact you for an interview. Don't include every function you performed on the job. Consider what accomplishments you would be looking for if you were the hiring manager, and what responsibilities show that you can handle the duties of the position you're seeking.

7. Your resume should not include positions you held more than 10 years ago, unless they are relevant to the position you're looking for now.

8. Keep it simple. Three pages maximum for management or executive resumes; two pages for all other resumes for corporate positions.

9. Don't forget to check spelling and grammar. Saying you were the "lead" on a project is different than saying that you "led" the project. For grammar and word choices, do a search to find sites on the web that will answer your questions about grammar and punctuation.

10. Create different versions of your resume if you're searching for more than one type of position. For example, you may want to apply for Business Analyst and Technical Writer positions. In one version of your resume you can include accomplishments and skills that relate more to being a B.A. In another version you can include accomplishments (and publications) relating to your experiences as a Technical Writer.

Copyright 2007 Deborah A. Bailey, Writing Services Central, LLC
About the Author
Deborah A. Bailey is a professional writer and owner of Writing Services Central, LLC. Her company provides expert writing and editing services to entrepreneurs. Subscribe to the free monthly ezine for writing and editing tips and articles at http://www.writingservicescentral.com.
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