If you are looking for a job, writing a resume is one of the first steps you need to take. The goal of a resume is to get you in the door with prospective employers. And you have about 30 seconds to grab the reader’s attention.
As the former manager of staffing for a Fortune 500 company, certified career counselor and board member of several nonprofit organizations, I have reviewed thousands of resumes. Based upon my experience, here are 10 tricks of the trade for writing a winning resume.
- Include an objective statement at the top of your resume which states your employment goal, types of organizations you have experience working for, and several strengths. The reason for including an objective statement is to immediately let the reader know that you are a fit for the job. Here is one example of an attention-grabbing objective statement: Results-oriented sales executive with 15 years experience in the oil and chemical industry. Strengths include managing amidst economic uncertainty, building diverse teams and increasing profitability.
- Tell not only what you did but how well you did it. By demonstrating your contributions in quantifiable terms, you separate yourself from the pack. For example: “Created a new sales program which resulted in a 25% growth in sales annually for 3 consecutive years” is more impressive than “responsible for creating a new sales program.”
- Use action verbs like analyzed, created, developed, initiated, led or researched. Imagine someone reading your resume quickly and think about the impression the words you choose will have on him or her.
- You can add information about your education, accomplishments, special knowledge or honors at the beginning or end of the resume. If it is recent or impressive, place it at the beginning; otherwise, it goes at the end of the resume.
- Include your name, address, phone number and e-mail address so that an employer can get in touch with you easily.
- Put your name and page number on each page (in case pages get misplaced or out of order). Try to limit your resume to no more than two pages.
- Make sure your resume is spell checked and that there are no grammatical errors.
- Do not include a photograph or personal information. Emphasize your credentials, experience and accomplishments.
- Be honest about dates of employment and job titles. If you falsify information, and are found out, you could be eliminated from consideration or fired.
- Get feedback from several sources about how attractive and easy to read your resume is before you send it out. Writing a terrific resume is worth the time invested. It could be your passport to a new job.
By Judith Lindenberger
Judith Lindenberger gets leadership. She is the rare coach and trainer capable of coupling personal growth with professional development, which is why top companies and individuals invite her to work with them. Judy has more than thirty years of experience and is a trusted HR specialist of the highest level. Her background includes designing and facilitating the first-ever sexual harassment prevention training for federal workers, conducting a comprehensive survey on workplace bullying, leading the management training department for a major financial organization and creating a highly successful, global mentoring program for a Fortune 500 company which won the national Athena Award for Mentoring for two consecutive years. She is a certified career coach and master trainer.