Tips for a Good Resume
So what is a good resume? Most people answer that question with one word; “finished!” Writing a good resume can be a tedious task involving long hours of agonizing decisions. What qualifications and experience should you include? How should you best express yourself to potential employers?
Employers generally scan your resume in seconds because of the stack they receive when posting a job. In order to get their attention, follow certain guidelines while creating a good resume to present your skills and talents.
Present Yourself with a Professional Resume
The first piece of information included in a good resume should introduce you to the potential employer. This information should be displayed in a common, easy to read font and in a simple format. The pertinent information you should display on your resume is: Your name, address, phone number, and email address. Other details such as your website can be included if requested or you feel that the information may be beneficial to your job search. You should also bold your name to stand out to the employer
Showcase Your Resume Skills & Abilities
A good resume should summarize your skills and abilities in clear, concise manner that stands out for the employer to easily recognize. Typically, if you include lengthy descriptions of your life’s achievements, the important information can easily get overlooked in the review process.
Adding personal information is only suggested if the information relates to and enhances your qualifications. Resumes should represent your abilities and how they could relate to the job offered not what you do in your spare time.
Include an Assertive Resume Objective
Including an assertive resume objective is important when creating a good resume. Objectives should be strong statements that inform employers how you will be an asset to their company or what type of career you are pursuing. By creating a powerful objective, the statement can grab the employer’s attention if they are quickly scanning other potential applicants’ resumes. Think through your career objective and make sure you are focused and to the point. State the resume in language familiar to the employer – see how to write a resume objective. This should set the theme to your resume.
Highlight Work Experience
Previous employment history is a major component of any resume. A good resume will include customized descriptions of your previous experience catered to represent the skills that the new employer is looking for. For example, if the employer is looking for a candidate who possesses management skills, detail your experience of managing a team of sales people or keeping your office productive with little or no downtime.
Another good rule of thumb is to avoid common job responsibilities in your work history. A good resume will describe your experience in a given situation that resulted in a positive outcome. These work history descriptions are called Action-Benefit statements. They describe the situation you encountered, the action you choose to take, and the outcome or benefit of those actions.
An Action-Benefit statement could look like this: “Reviewed increasing employee accident reports (situation) and created a monthly safety course (Action) that reduced workplace injuries by 40% in six months (outcome).” Also try and use numbers, dollars, and percentages when writing your Action-Benefit statements to help your achievements stand out as well as using action verbs to start out your descriptions. Some examples of action verbs include: organized, established, created, & produced.
This is an important asset to have. Make sure you list your education, certifications, and technical training if related to your pursued career. Employers generally recommend or require certain degrees in fields that pertain to their line of business so they can feel confident that the potential applicant can perform to their standards with little or no training. Time is money and if someone with who is under qualified is hired, production times can decrease. Make sure to include your school’s name, contact information, number of years you attended, and if you graduated with a diploma, certification, or degree.
Wait, There’s more!
Now that you have all the core information and suggestions of what makes a good resume, these important attributes can be beneficial to landing you that job interview.
- Use keywords – A number of companies now use computer databases to scan through resumes digitally searching for specific keywords requested by the employer. Using job specific keywords that focus on your skills and abilities can draw the attention that is needed to increase your chances for an interview.
- Use power words – Power resume words when used correctly on your resume make all the difference in getting an interview. They are imperative for a good resume.
- Be Professional – Resumes should generally be 1-2 pages so including personal information is not suggested. Avoid listing information such as age, race, and personal views. Avoid clichés and your personal interests like action movies or roller skating as a hobby.
- Express your personal traits with examples – Using words to describe your personal traits such as punctual and reliable can be rewritten to demonstrate your abilities which could seem more appealing to the potential employer. For instance, Punctual could be rewritten as “Never arrived late to any appointment in seven years of sales.”
A Positive Attitude & Honesty will take you the extra mile – While according to the book Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt more than 50% of people lie on their resumes, dishonesty on your resume is a big no-no. If you do not have the skills required for a position, focus on what attributes you can bring to the company in a positive tone.
A good resume comes from following these guidelines and using good vocabulary for an accurate description of yourself. A good resume is the one that lands you an interview.
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