A Successful Resume: 3 Do’s, 1 Don’t

The job world is getting pretty competitive, and potential employers are relying more heavily on online application processes. By doing this they hope to keep their offices clear until they have time to dedicate to finding a new employee. To keep you at the top of the pile, consider the following tips for your resume:

Keep it Simple- Condense your resume to the most pertinent, useful information. Keep your resume to ONE page, front and back. Attempts at consolidating may short you with relevant work experience, special talents and educational experience. Your objective shouldn’t be any more than 3 sentences in length.

Use easy-to-read fonts- Nothing can be more exhausting for a potential employer like attempting to decipher an illegible resume. Truthfully, too much time spent figuring out what your qualifications are might results in your resume ending up in the trash. You can use a pretty font for items such as your header or titles, but stick to a simple sans serif font for the body of your resume; try Calibri, Arial or Verdana.

Try a skills summary instead of the traditional work experience list- I’ve personally had much success with this. I did away with the original list of all places I’ve been employed and chose my top three strengths that would resonate through a variety of job functions. I then detailed my relevant experience and how I’ve excelled with each trait. Where you’ve worked isn’t nearly as important as the skills you’ve honed while employed there. Of course, I still listed my old workplaces and my supervisors, but this came after the summary of my talents.

Stay away from vague generalities- Every employer reads “good communicator”. What makes you a good communicator? Be specific with what can easily fall into something too general; discuss your problem-solving techniques, explain how you relate with customers’ quandaries and provide examples of situations in which you’ve provided excellent customer service.

Do Not Put False Information- I once had an employer ask questions off my resume: for example, what was the zip code at the golf course? If you list false information, you’re only hurting yourself. Being hired on false pretenses will set you up for failure and employers may be angered to find out they hired you based on a fraud. That’s one less employer you can use as a positive professional reference!

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