Write an OUTSTANDING Resume
To start your resume, begin by determining your objectives. After your objectives are determined, prioritize the content of your resume to suit those objectives. You have a small window of time to get the interest of a hiring manager so brevity and focus is essential. A lengthy resume does not translate to higher qualification.
1.) Use Bulleted Sentences
Use bullets with short sentences to structure the body of your resume. The main selling points of your resume should be clear and quick to scan. Bulleted sentences should be framed with a brief overview of job / responsibilities.
2.) Use Action Words
Use action words like prepared, managed, developed, championed, monitored, and presented will cause your resume to stand out. Avoid using the same verb over and over. If your resume is scanned electronically, the computer will pick up on the words. Some companies now scan in your resume and have computers pull those that meet certain criteria. The computers are looking for one thing - the keywords that have been picked by the hiring manager. These are action keywords that relate to the position so not including them or using shortened acronyms could mean your resume is disregarded as a "non-match".
3.) Use %'s, $'s and #'s
You should always use %'s, $'s and #'s. Dollar totals, numbers, and percentages stand out in the body of a resume. Below are two examples of a job duty described with them (good) and without (bad). As you can see by the examples, being specific does not mean being lengthy.
Bad: Account manager for advertising agency
Good: Managed 15 strategic accounts billing in excess of $15MM annually
Bad: Sold widgets to clients located in the Midwest
Good: Increased sales by 17% in a 5-state territory
4.) Highlight your strengths
Highlight your strengths, and what is most relevant to the potential employer. In-coming resumes are typically reviewed in 10-30 seconds, so put forth the effort and determine which bullets most strongly support your job search objective. Put the strongest and most relevant points first where they are more apt to be read. This is your hook for the reader and the rest of your resume reels them in.
5.) Match the need they have
Match the need they have – Review job postings online for positions that interest you. Each position will usually have a brief blurb about the company and the position available. Use the keywords listed in these ads, and match them to the bullet points in your resume. Using a custom resume instead of a generic one will greatly increase your chances of an interview, as you will be a better match in the eyes of the reader.
6.) Be positive
Above all in your resume and interview - you must be positive. Leave out negatives and irrelevant points. If you feel your graduation date will subject you to age discrimination, leave it out of your resume. If you do some duties in your current job that don't support your job search objective, don't include them. Focus on the duties that do support your objective, and leave off irrelevant personal information like your race, weight, and height.
7.) White space is important
Ad Design 101 - White space is important. Open up the newspaper, and take note of which ads first catch your attention. Are they the ads that are jammed full of text or are they ads that have a large amount of unused space ("white space"). This is done to grab your attention, as readers are always attracted to open areas. So don't worry if you are having a hard time filling the page with text; consider increasing leading or kerning to align text to fit the page layout...
8.) Formatting Guidelines
How long should my resume be? What size font should I use? - The font size should be no smaller than 10 point, standard serif or sans serif fonts. Don't use intricate fonts that are hard to read. Keeping your fonts standard will help combat conversion issues from PC to MAC and from one program version to another. The length of your resume should be 1-2 pages. Yes, you read correctly; you can use more than one page. But remember, keep it concise. It's ok to use two pages for your resume, however it is not necessary.
9.) Get 3rd Party Advice
Ask a friend, and get an outside opinion on your resume before sending it off. Having someone objectively review your resume can give you insight into how others will view your personal marketing materials - would your resume impress them? Take their comments into consideration, and revise your resume accordingly. In addition to adding in missed items, their questions can also point to items on your resume that are confusing to the reader.
10.) Start Applying
OK, you're ready! Get your resume out of your hands into the hands of your trusted iMethods recruiter so they can help you find the ideal match. Good hunting!