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Resume Style And Content

Your resume is the main tool you are going to be using to market yourself to employers. With the job market being as competitive as it is now, you need your resume to really stand out from all other resumes.

 

Style
The style of your resume is one of the first things that a potential employer will notice. In this economy, employers have the luxury of being fickle with any resume that comes across their desk. So it is important that your resume makes a positive impression before it has even been read.

Eliminate any ambiguity on your resume. Make it very clear where to find each piece of information that an employer will need to find. Bold headlines that are in a larger font will help accomplish this.

Keep you resume brief. No one wants to read every detail of every job you have ever held. Keep all the information in your resume relevant to the current job that you are applying for. If you are applying for an electrical engineering job, your three years experience as a short order cook has no bearing on your current career path so leave it out.

Remove any unnecessary or irrelevant information from each sentence in your resume. If it isn’t necessary for the sentence to make sense, then don’t include it.  Look at the accomplishment statement below. There is a chunk of information that is completely useless:

In my job duties as webmaster, I identified project specifications with cross functional teams and determined all future necessary requirements for new online systems that increased accuracy and productivity, suggested alternative functionality and successfully met all project deadlines, ISO standards and customer needs.

The first seven words add no value to this accomplishment statement. It also does not start with an action verb. The fact that your previous job was as a webmaster should already be evident since this accomplishment statement is tied to a particular job on your resume. The modified statement is below:

Identified project specifications with cross functional teams and determined all future necessary requirements for new online systems that increased accuracy and productivity, suggested alternative functionality and successfully met all project deadlines, ISO standards and customer needs.

The at-a-glance appearance of your resume should appear professional and attractive. Hold your resume at a distance and glance over the pages without reading the words. Does it look professional, organized and have clearly defined sections? If it does, your resume passes the at-a-glance test.

 

Content
Getting the reader past that first glance of your resume is the first hurdle. Your resume’s content must also receive a passing grade. The content of your resume should tie everything together as it relates to the specific job you are applying for.

The summary of your resume should include the keywords that the employer is looking for and has mentioned in their job posting. If they cannot skim through the summary and see that you posses a majority of the skills they are looking for, your resume will not be read any further.

Similar to the summary, your work experience must relate to what the employer is looking for. Trace the keywords in the job posting back to the specific accomplishment statements that you created to use on your resume.

If the employer has asked for a very narrow set of skills for a job posting and you find your resume does not contain enough content, add in any accomplishment statements that would naturally compliment the skill sets they are looking for.

Every aspect of your resume should call attention to the fact that your skills overlap with the companies needs.  If you do this correctly, you will be one of the few people that are contacted for an interview.

About the Author

Rick Biederer is the owner and operator of www.FindIllinoisJobs.com.

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