How to Prepare an Effective Resume

Employers receive hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes a month. Submitting a mediocre resume would most likely go unnoticed, and would even land in the shredder. Make your resume stand out and be noticeable to employers by following these great tips.

Use titles and match the jobs you want – Employers tend to scan resumes really quickly before deciding on whether or not they interview the person. Try grabbing the employer’s attention by using job titles and skill headings that relate to and match the jobs you want. For instance, if you want are applying as an accounting assistant but actually managed over 1,000 A/R and A/P accounts, use the latter as your job title. Using skill headings that market the true nature of your job duties would generate move interviews and higher salary offers.

Use design that grabs attention – Employers make quick judgments when glancing at your resume. If they see unrelated job titles or skills, it is most likely that they will make an assumption that you are not qualified for the job you want. The design (or the presentation) of your resume must highlight the most important information about your work experience, skills, and education.

Create content that sells – Your resume presentation should get attention but the content should be “saleable” as well. Do note the descriptions you include of your skills and attributes as well, as they determine how many interviews you would generate—as well as the level of salary offers you receive. Job descriptions just won’t do. Include in your resume major achievements you have given to your former (or current) employers.

Quantify – Use numbers or specifics to describe your achievements and responsibilities. It can greatly expand and elevate you image as a great employee. The more specific you can be in describing your duties, the better. For instance, instead of just “acquired the Empire Electronics account,” make it more powerful by quantifying such as “spearheaded in acquiring Empire Electronics account worth $100 million.”

Use power words – The use of “management oriented” words is also important in controlling the image that employers develop about you, and match the level of position that you want. For instance, paraphrase “gave work assignments to staff of entry level accounting clerks” into “directed workflow, supervised and trained accounting staff performing posting to general ledger, accounts receivable and payable accounts.”

Analyze ads and job descriptions – This is a key element in creating powerful resumes because you would be able to identify key words that you should use.

Identify and solve employer’s hidden needs – The employer would have also displayed in the ad some needs that you should identify and address in your resume and cover letters. For example, this employer would need someone who can deal effectively with other departments, research the issues that plague in your workplace, and records to solve problems. It’s important that you identify and anticipate the full range of needs each employer faces and show how you can solve those needs.

Sell the benefits of your skills – See to it that your job skills would benefit the company you are applying. Putting up statements like you can type 80 words per minute lacks explanation of how your typing speed and accuracy can produce more work and ultimately save the employer money. Instead, try using “achieved top production volume by maintaining high degree of accuracy with typing speed at 80 wpm.”

Create an image that matches the salary you want – The language used in a resume for an $8-an-hour position is different for a $16-an-hour position. It is important that you either stay at your current salary level or move-up, instead of going backwards. For instance, “Seeks a Managerial position utilizing my experience…” follow it up by your previous work achievements.

Prioritize the resume content – One big mistake job seekers tend to do is to list the most important data in the lower sections of their job descriptions. As you compile statements for your resume, prioritize them by importance, impressiveness and relevance to the job you want.

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