Follow these quick and easy tips to build yourself a better resume in under 10 minutes flat.
Use strong, action oriented language that describes specific skills or accomplishments. Go through your resume from top to bottom and eliminate weak language. Don’t write “Was in charge of large graphic design department that increased company revenues” when you can say “Managed 12 graphic artists in major creative projects that increased revenues by over 3 million last year.”
Whenever possible, eliminate all forms of the verb “to be” (is, are, was, am and so on), as demonstrated in the previous example. Instead, replace them with strong action words that paint a compelling picture.
Bullets are a great way to transform lists that would otherwise make tedious reading in paragraph form, or that would benefit by a cleaner layout. They make the job of reading your resume more pleasant for the reader. A perfect candidate for bullets is a list of accomplishments related to a single job. For example, “Postmaster, 1998 -2003” followed by 3 or 4 major accomplishments in bullet form.
Write a specific, concise job description.
If the job you really want is “Director of Human Resources at a Fortune 1000 company,” say so. Don’t write “Middle management position at a large or mid-size company” or something equally vague. That covers a lot of territory. You need to help the company with the exact job you’re looking for find you. Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. Would you call a candidate for an interview in the hopes that she is a good match, or would you call the person whose job description specifically indicates she wants the job?
* Don’t include every single position you’ve ever held.
Your resume is a document designed to land you an interview, followed by a job offer. There will be times when omitting a position – especially if it has no relevance to the position you are seeking, may be in your best interest. This is easy to do where omitting short term positions or special projects conducted as part of an ongoing job assignment will not create an obvious “hole” in your background that you will need to explain.
(There are ways to avoid making an employer suspicious of resume rough spots, like gaps in experience or experience that lacks relevance to the position you are seeking. A professional resume writer can offer you specific advice on ways to do so, considering your unique background.)
When you’re finished improving your resume, run a final spell check. Your word processor’s spell checker probably won’t contain all the acronyms and specialized industry jargon that your resume likely contains. In that case, take the time to manually check each flagged item to make sure your resume is spelling error-free.
Follow these five easy tips for a better resume, fast!
Copywriter and consultant Vincent Czaplyski is founder of impressive-resumes, your online source for professionally written “industrial strength” resumes and cover letters guaranteed to land you an interview.
Copyright 2005 by Vincent Czaplyski, all rights reserved. You may republish this article in its entirety, as long as you include the complete signature file above without modification.