How to Write an Effective Resume

1. Stray away from fluff.

It’s tempting to include everything because, well, you’ve done all of it! Many job seekers tend to over communicate their work history. You are not justifying your life, you are reflecting your relevant skills. The idea is to list your qualifications in such a manner that the employer can easily see you meet their needs. Once you have your foot in the door, that’s when its appropriate to dive into specifics and employment history details. Too much can lead to a lack of interest or missed information on the part of the employer.

Critical Elements

Keeping an eye on Recruiter Behavior summarized that recruiters spend 80% of the 6 second review time on six key pieces of information:
  • – Name
  • – Current title/company
  • – Previous title/company
  • – Previous position start and end dates
  • – Current position start and end dates
  • – Education

Beyond those six items the recruiters in the study scanned for keywords to match the position they were seeking to fill.

3. Focus on the facts.

Like mentioned above, employers want to clearly see years of experience, certifications, education, specific proficiency and areas of expertise. Give yourself the credit you deserve and put those details right at the forefront. If you are at a loss for what facts your should share about your professional experience, research example resumes online that are from a similar background as you. Many skills are transferable, you just need to present them in a way that the employer can appreciate.

Example : “Managed a retail team of 3 for store front,” can be more effectively expressed as: “4 years of management experience.”

4. Remove articles and helping verbs.

A big way to edit down a resume is to remove helping verbs and articles. Keep an eye out for helping verbs such as “have,” “had,” “may,” and “to be” and articles such as “a,” “an,” and “the.”

Example : “Managed a team of sales associates in order to help them achieve quarterly goals.” Instead, phrase like this: “Managed sales team to help accomplish quarterly goals.” (Including specific goals strengthens this even more.) Cutting out the articles and helping verbs changed a 14 word sentence into an effective 8 word phrase.

5. Read out loud.

I’ve used this trick with all my major writing assignments and it is still one of the most effective exercises I know. Reading out loud will allow you to judge how concise your resume is and catch grammar and spelling errors. Your resume should flow and be easily read. If you find yourself stumbling over a part, rework it.

6. Don’t get discouraged.

Though it seems like it, your resume is not an enemy. It is a tool, and all successful tool use takes practice. It literally pay$ to work on your resume. Give the time and you’ll write a resume that will definitely stand out to employers.

Happy job hunting!
For more questions regarding help with resumes and our other services, please call or visit us at the Longview WOC. (see contact information)
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