Your resume sets the stage for your job interview. It sets the first impression and determines whether the hiring manager even wants to meet you. Don't send out this ever-important document without first considering these 10 things that really matter.
1. The Address
Fight the instinct to put your mailing address on your resume. The hiring manager may rule you out because you're located too far from the office. List your email address and phone number only.
2. An Executive Summary
Forget about that boring old objective statement of resumes past. Opt for an executive summary that instantly makes the hiring manager want to keep reading your resume. Introduce yourself and explain what value you can bring to the hiring organization.
3. Action Verbs
Be sure to fill your resume with action words that really draw attention and show enthusiasm. For example, use "supervised" in place of "led" and "analyzed" instead of "reviewed."
Include quantifiable achievements in your resume. Rather than just saying that you're a great salesman, prove it. Tell how you, "Boosted sales by 15 percent" or "Won the Salesman of the Year Award four consecutive years."
Many hiring managers use applicant-tracking systems that scan your resume before human eyes ever see it. Be sure to review the job description for every resume you send out, and never send out a generic, one-size-fits-all document. Sprinkle important keywords throughout your resume to draw the robots' attention.
6. The Jobs
If you have a lot of employment gaps in your work history, try to make it less noticeable by leaving out the months and listing the years only. If it's still obvious, provide an honest explanation for the periods of unemployment.
7. Scholarships or Awards
Take the opportunity to list any awards or scholarships you received during college. This is especially important if you're a recent graduate with very limited work experience.
8. Social Media Links
If you have a LinkedIn profile or another professional social media site, list the web address on your resume. Be sure to review the information you post to make sure it's current and presents a polished image.
9. The Length
If your resume extends beyond two pages, do some editing. If possible, try to keep it to one page. If you have a huge list of previous jobs, stick to the most current and relevant positions.
10. The Flawless Presentation
Before sending out your resume, always go through it with a fine-tooth comb. Look for spelling errors, correct grammar mistakes and pay attention to the formatting. Ask a friend or colleague to review it, too. Remember that a simple mistake could land you in the reject pile.
If you find that you're sending out application after application and getting nowhere, review your resume. Make sure you're paying attention to these 10 things that really matter.
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