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10 Steps to a Killer Resume

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5. Have you outlined achievements as well as responsibilities?
Don’t provide a laundry list of responsibilities without showing what results you achieved. Most employers already know what the main responsibilities of your job were. They want to know what makes you different from all the other applicants. An effective résumé summarizes job responsibilities in a few sentences and then provides details of quantifiable achievements.

Focus most of your résumé on the results you accomplished, not the regular duties of your job.

6. Are there any typos?
Your résumé has to be perfect. Proofread it over and over again. When you are sure it’s perfect, have other people proof it! If even one word is misspelled the reader will assume that you didn’t know how to spell the word (this is bad) or that you didn’t care (this is even worse!) Nothing puts the reader off more quickly than misspellings or typos.

7. Is the résumé easy to read?
At least 50% of the impact of your résumé derives from design. A strong résumé design will pull the eye through the document, making it easy to keep reading and will highlight your key strengths clearly. But if your résumé is badly laid out, disorganized or hard to read, it will be discarded before the reader knows how qualified you are.

To see examples of how to lay out your résumé, go to the library or bookstore and look in the career section. You will find collections of sample résumés. Take time to understand how the page has been laid out and then apply what you’ve learned to your résumé.

8. Have you listed irrelevant information?
Don’t list your hobbies unless they directly support your qualifications for the position. Don’t detail your marital status or the number of children you have. Don’t mention non-professional affiliations such as political or religious volunteer work unless it directly relates to the position you are applying for. Any personal information runs the risk of turning the reader off. However proud you are of personal achievements, you should not run the risk of alienating someone before you even have your foot in the door.

9. Are you too modest?
Don’t be uncomfortable about blowing your own trumpet. Too many people play down their achievements. While you should never exaggerate on a résumé, you should definitely take credit for the things you’ve accomplished. Some people feel uncomfortable boasting on paper preferring to explain in an interview. But if your résumé doesn’t spark interest, you may never get that opportunity, so don’t be modest!

10. Have you created an internet-ready version of résumé?
If you have to post your résumé online, or apply to a job via an online system, you will need to convert your résumé to a text-only format. If you don’t do this, your résumé will be almost impossible to read because most online systems cannot support the type of formatting used in a résumé (bold, italics, bullet points, lines etc.)

SUMMARY
When you send your résumé out, it must speak articulately for you. You can’t explain inconsistencies, clear up confusion or fill in things that are missing. Your résumé has to make your sales pitch in a clear and compelling manner within 20 seconds. Invest the time to make it exceptional and you will see an immediate increase in the response rate.

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Make a Resume in Word
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