In these troubled economic times, employers can receive hundreds of resumes within hours of posting a job ad. Here are some surefire resume writing tips jobseekers can use to make their resumes stand out from the rest of the pack.
Don't Use the First Person- The word "I" should not appear in a resume. Successful resumes describe job duties in the implied first person. For example, instead of writing "I made and served coffee drinks to customers," write "Prepared and served coffee drinks at busy downtown café." Using this perspective puts the focus of a resume on the job seeker's skills and helps a potential employer see how those skills might meet their needs.
Keep Sentences Short and Crisp- Complete sentences are not necessary when writing a resume. Focus on creating short, snappy statements with prominent verbs. Using "action words" like created, analyzed, implemented, or developed to describe job duties will highlight your accomplishments and successes.
Tailor Resumes to the Job Ad- After reading a job ad, take a few minutes to identify the key skills the employer is looking for. Once you have identified the key words in a job ad, try to address those key words in your resume. Make the key words the subject of headings or shuffle things around so that those words appear first in your job descriptions. Once you have hand-tailored resumes enough times, you will wind up with several different "versions" of your resume that you can use as needed. For example, the resume a job seeker uses to apply for server jobs will look different from the version he or she sends to administrative jobs. Just make sure not to get the different versions mixed up!
Don't List All Your Job Experience- Especially for seasoned workers, it isn't necessary to keep every single job you've ever had on a resume. One of the standard resume writing tips is to keep resumes to no more than two pages unless you're applying for highly specialized work. Recent grads seeking a professional position can leave off that part-time gig flipping burgers. Conversely, more experienced workers looking for a weekend job at a big box store may want to downplay their accomplishments. Just because you had a temp job that lasted for four weeks, doesn't mean you have to put it on your resume if it isn't relevant to the interview you're trying to get.
Flex Your Design Muscles- An employer may take only a few seconds to skim your resume before flipping to the next one in the stack, so it is important to make a good first impression. Try to use a design that makes your resume look sleek, stream-lined, and pleasing to the eye. If design isn't your forte, many word processing programs have a variety of resume templates to choose from.
Proofread and Proofread Again- An adjective like "detail-oriented" won't get you far if your resume features a prominent typo! One small typo or grammatical error can really harm your chances of getting an interview, especially if you're competing against a number of other applicants. There are many strategies for proofreading, including working from a paper copy since it's easy to miss errors on screen, reading backwards sentence by sentence, or asking a friend to look over your work.
While conducting her own job search Elizabeth Shelton searched all over the internet looking for resume writing tips. One of the nation's top resume writing services firms, Distinctive Career Services, LLC, offers many free resume writing tips and resume samples on their website. Their website found at http://www.distinctiveweb.com was the most helpful she found.
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