Make Your Resume Stand Out Now and in the Future

Most job seekers are aware that hiring managers spend precious little time looking at individual resumes. So, you need to capture their attention quickly and make them want to read more.

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But, in addition to incorporating information that will pull them in, you also want to avoid other problems that will get your resume tossed quickly in the trash can. Here are a few tips.

  1. Really watch for grammar and spelling errors.

This may seem so obvious that it does not need to be mentioned. But it does because it’s surprising how often errors crop up in resumes. After putting together many resumes for different job opportunities and reading them over, you are more prone to skim the writing and to fill in the gaps mentally. It’s therefore becomes easier to miss errors.

To prevent this, have friends or family members help out by reading the resumes. Each person should focus on one area, such as spelling or grammar and punctuation.

When a hiring manager sees an error, it does not make a good impression at all and can sink your chances of getting an interview.

  1. Tailor your resume to the job.

Each resume you send out needs to be customized for the job you are applying for. You need to take your cue from the job description, taking note of what keywords are used and what kinds of skills are emphasized. Then you need to use the same keywords in your resume and also highlight accomplishments that relate to the sought after skills mentioned in the job description.

  1. Watch your formatting.

The resume needs to be well organized and easy to read. Avoid large blocks of print and long sentences. Make sure you have adequate white space, using headings and short, compelling phrases. Use boldface and italics where appropriate, such as headings and text that you want to stand out.

Some people try to squeeze in more information by using a smaller font and shrinking the margins. But this is not a good idea because it makes the resume harder to read, and a hiring manager is not going to take the time to pick his way through it.

Review and edit your resume several times to make sure you have trimmed all unnecessary information, that your writing is simple, clear and direct, and not wordy.

  1. Focus on accomplishments, not job duties.

You are not going to impress anyone by simply listing job duties and responsibilities. You will make a more compelling case by listing your accomplishments. How did you change or improve things?

Include facts and figures to support your statements. You should not just say you increased sales, but exactly by how much.

You also don’t need to give information about every job you have ever had. If you have had jobs that bear little relevance to the one you are applying for, you can simply give a quick summary.

  1. Use active verbs.

Active verbs have the name because they show movement and action. For example, words such as led, managed, planned, produced and generated are all active verbs. These are the kinds of words you want to use in your resume to show your skills and abilities.

  1. Highlight important skills.

Skills that are essential to the job should be listed at the top of the resume in the professional summary. Don’t wait to list them later in a skills section, for example.

Your summary at the top of the resume is the equivalent of an elevator pitch – a short, powerful statement why the company should hire you.

Many people are looking for work now. If you haven’t lately, take a look at Helpmates’ current job opportunities and, if one or more interest you, follow the listing’s directions and/or contact the branch office nearest you.

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