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Build A Better Resume

A few tips to help get noticed!

In this job market it is extrememly important that you take every measure possible to set yourself apart from the rest. Here are 10 tips to help your resume get the attention it deserves!

Be sure your headings and titles are congruent with the job/position you are applying for:

Employers may be receiving hundreds of resumes a day, as a jobseeker your resume must grab the employers attention within the first 5 seconds! Employers may take a glance at previous unrelated job titles and automatically assume you are not qualified for the job being applied for. Be sure to relate previous titles to the current position in some manner.

Example: Before Resume:Computer Skills, Accounting/Record keeping
Revamped Resume: Departmental Recordkeeping, Management of A/R (accounts receivable, accounts payable) A/P accounts

Use a format or design that assists in attracting attention: It is unlikely for employers to read all your job experiences, so make the titles pop! Use a bold faced title, underline or italicize the titles. Creating a less familiar format for your resume will draw their attention in to look at your resume more in depth.

White space is important: Which newspaper articles are you most attracted to when you open the paper, the articles filled with endless cluttered looking text or the open/unused space? There is good reason for this added white space. Studies have found that articles with less clutter tend to be more attractive to the readers eye. Proper use of white space can make the information less daunting and unconsciously more attractive for the reader. Yes, skills, objectives and experience are necessary to include, however, do not make your resume intimidating to look at. Simple and to the point is key!

Have a clear and precise objective: A resume objectives statement at the beginning of your resume provides an introduction and purpose for the employer to consider your resume over others. This portion of your resume should highlight your career objectives, goals and what type of job you are seeking. Depending on the position you are looking for or the information being included in your resume, you have the choice of including your objective statement on the cover letter of your resume or within the resume itself. As far as the statement goes, when you break it down, the format is composed of three parts or components:

  1. What you are doing: I am bringing or presenting to you my objectives for your review.
  2. What you are presenting them with: my achievements, skills, knowledge – which also appears on the resume itself.
  3. Why you are sending them a resume: to discuss joining their company as a member of a group, team or department.

Do not be afraid to be your own salesperson! Your resume design should gain attention, but it is really the content and description of experience and your abilities that help generate interviews. Include statistics you have achieved within past positions, big name clients you have brought to the companies or revenue generation you assisted in supplementing for the company. Be proud of what you have accomplished and show it off!

Example:Before:Created and maintained client accounts 
After:Worked directly with the CEO, managing over 1,000 A/R  and A/P accounts

Always use power words: Proper verbiage pertaining to the job specifically is very important. This shows the employer that you are professional, you have done your homework and you are qualified! Example:Typical Verbs:Gave work assignments, Taught fellow employees. Power Words:Directed workflow, distributed group duties, Trained and supervised specialized teams and personnel

Sell the benefits of your skills:
Along with defining your skills, let the employer know how much they will benefit from having you as part of their company. Let them know exactly how much of an asset you are/plan to be for their company.
Example:
Achieved top production by volume by maintaining a high degree of accuracy with typing speed of 85 wpm< By reducing the need for part time word processing staff, aided in the cut of labor expenses by 10,000 annually Create an image to match the salary you want:While writing you resume, keep in mind the level of position you are applying for. Be sure to represent your image at the appropriate level as the job requires. The use of your language, i.e. use of key words and well as power words can set you apart from the $10.00/hr. resumes vs. the $18.00/hr. resumes if used properly. Example:Seeking an entry level position in general sales. VS. Seeking a general management position in product sales and development. As you can see, the 2nd statement greatly elevates the applicants image as well as knowledge of the exact position being applied for. Prioritize the content of your resume:A common mistake job seekers make is listing the important and relevant data in the lower sections of their job descriptions. The jobseeker must highlight the statements that are the most relevant, impressive and important to the employer. Example:Un-prioritized-Maintained filing, record-keeping, general customer service, office supply purchasing and maintenance scheduling. Prioritized:Managed functions of main office to support the General and Branch Manager. Duties included maintaining filing, record-keeping, customer service, maintenance scheduling and office supply purchasing. Twist and target your resume cover letters:Be sure to change your cover letter so the details included apply to the job you are applying for. You are more likely to generate more interviews when you highlight and address the most specific skills the employer desires.
While many of these tips may be common sense to most, make sure to take a closer look at the content of your resume. If you feel your resume presents your image in an honest, strong, and desirable manner, you have reached your goal! Do not forget to keep your resume up to date on a regular basis so the next time you need it, you can make the few adjustments necessary in a much timelier manner.

Remember, create a vision for yourself, take small daily actions to keep yourself moving toward your vision, and watch how much you are able to accomplish!

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