Consider your resume as marketing tool. The resume is your packaging that is intended to get a Recruiter to take a look, read and create interest in doing a interview. If granted an interview it will be expected that a resume is brought to the interview as a point of discussion.
Keep your resume professional. While the online application or paper application tell where you have worked and your education the resume tells a similar story. But the resume can tell more than what you did. Avoid the temptation to write a laundry list of job duties on the resume. A Recruiter will be looking for your accomplishments or skills that an application cannot tell. Most Recruiters will look at current company, previous employment start and end dates, and education are the Focus on your getting results, successes and value that you bring. Sharing your hobbies, interests or marital status wastes that opportunity.
Your resume should invite the Recruiter to read it. Again think about yourself as a commodity and your resume is the marketing tool. What is going to get someone to look at your resume beyond the typical sic seconds? A Recruiter will see plenty of cookie cutter resumes that tell little about what the candidate can do. There is a greater chance of getting the resume read if it is appealing when it is seem by the Recruiter. Select an appropriate font and letter size. Be careful about overuse of underlining, bold print, underlining and graphics. Be sure your name and contact information is clear and easy. If possible keep the resume to one page and never more than two pages.
Update, update and continually update your resume. Too often the resume gets updated when there is a need for a job the average employment tenure is 4 to 5 years. Too many people wait until they have a layoff, termination or relocation to begin the process of updating the resume. A deadly sin during an interview is the discovery your resume is missing information due to not being updated. Consider doing an annual review of your resume while successes, achievements or recently acquired skills are fresher in your head.
Use a targeted approach with your resume. Avoid the temptation of a generic resume which gets you a generic rejections. Look hard at company job postings and use your research or network to understand the needs of the company. Then customize your resume to match the skills, knowledge or competencies the hiring company is seeking.
Get your resume reviewed by others. We hesitate to have others that we trust or respect look at our resume. While not a good idea to have your boss look at the resume consider asking friends for their feedback. Having your resume reviewed can catch typos and improve your overall message. If you graduated from college send your resume to the Career Services center for their thoughts on your resume. While this may seem awkward, should you have suddenly loose your job your already experienced at asking people to look at your resume reviewed.
Remeber companies do not hire a resume, they hire people. Understand that your resume should provide the facts of your value. Since your goal is to get the Recruiter to look at the resume and stimulate enough interest in calling you for an interview. Then use the interview to shore up your value through face to face dialogue.
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