Today's job market requires a highly effective resume to capture the employer's attention. Based on the national survey views of 600 Hiring Managers, here are 21 ways to help you improve your online resume.
Since most employers sort resumes electronically, keywords and specifics that demonstrate your abilities, your accomplishments, and your past experiences are crucial to getting their attention.
Market Yourself Well
Begin with a summary of qualifications section that encapsulates your most marketable skills and experience into four to six sentences.
Employers like proof that you can do the job. Note the action performed and conclude with the achieved result, noting how your employer benefited. Use numbers and percentages to show how money or time was saved. Example: Coordinated the annual conference, adding new speakers and innovative programs, which resulted in a 17% increase in attendance and an 18% increase in revenues.
Be Brief and Concise
One page, short and to the point works best. Be a skillful editor, deleting the portions which are not relevant or least helpful to your securing a particular position. Emphasize your most recent experience, the last five to seven years. Cover in detail the major job duties performed.
Focus every resume to the job title being applied for. It's much more effective to create a different resume for each job title (i.e., one resume for Trainer, another for Program Director) and incorporate only the information pertinent to doing that job.
The formatting of an online resume must be kept readable, sharp and professional. Make sure sentences are concise and that there is adequate white space between points. Eliminate italics, bold formatting, and fancy fonts. Stick to Times Roman or Arial fonts; use 12 - 14 point size. Use bullets to emphasize important points.
No vague generalities. Say exactly what you mean, using the smallest number of words to make the point.
State your skills, qualifications, and experience as positively as possible without exaggerating or misstating the truth. If your job responsibilities are not adequately described by your job title, indicate your abilities with appropriate terms (i.e. Events Coordinator, instead of Staff Coordinator). List job titles, employers, and dates/years of employment.
Use Action Verbs
Start each sentence with a descriptive action verb - such as established, managed, organized. They add power to your sentences. And, never use "I" on the resume, only short impact sentences. Example: Designed the company's new marketing flyer.
Spell out names of schools, cities, abbreviations, and titles completely, since employers may not recognize abbreviations or acronyms.
Make Points Quickly
Complete sentences are not necessary in resume writing; it is better to use simple descriptive statements to make a point. Be sure any technical terms are understandable to non-technical personnel.
In all your sentences, use past tense words since they imply that you "have done it" before. This reassures employers you can do it for them.
The resume you send out must be flawless. No mistakes or typos, especially in emails. Typos are HR manager's chief complaint and they insist they won't hire offenders.
Don't trust computer spell checkers. Read every word out loud to be sure it is correct.
Make it Readable
A crammed, cramped resume often goes unread. Make deletions wherever necessary to achieve a readable product. Use white space; bullets to highlight key points; and eliminate redundancies.
Complex designs are distracting to the reader. Lines, boxes, shadings, fancy borders or clipart should be avoided as they cause major errors when sent electronically.
Don't Include Personal Statistics
It is no longer considered professional or wise to include information about marital status, gender, height, weight, health, or to insert a picture on your resume.
No Tag Lines
Employers know you'll provide references if they request them, therefore it is not necessary to put "References upon request" at the end of your resume.
Don't Advertise Negative Information
The resume is the wrong place to advertise that you were laid off, fired, or had an extended illness. Never state why you left a position; simply list the dates of employment. Don't mention what salary you want to receive.
Update information every six months. Keep a current resume on this website with email alert turned on to learn of promotions or new opportunities whenever you hear about them.
Does your resume get results? Does your resume clearly and quickly communicate to employers that you can do the job? Do your strengths come across? Does everything support the job you are targeting? Should anything be removed? Are employers calling? If not, rework, get professional help or check out several resume books to help you improve yours.