1. Keep It Brief
Remember that the initial reading of resumes by HR personnel usually allows for between 10-20 seconds per resume: as such, then, the shorter the resume, the better. You should aim for one page.
It is sometimes not possible to limit your resume to one page as you may need to include a great deal of information pertaining to your work experience. If this is so, it is best to list the information with the greatest relevance towards the top of the first page to ensure that it is read.
2. The Importance of Correct Spelling
Using a word processor’s spell checker is not sufficient: it is necessary to manually proofread the resume a minimum of three times to ensure that there are no mistakes.
Regardless of how qualified you may be for the job, if the resume is not carefully written, it will most likely be discarded.
3. Begin the Resume With a “Power Statement”
Whilst a number of resume writers will recommend beginning a resume with an objective statement, this is not always wise as these statements can appear self-centered.
An Objective statement merely tells the prospective employer what you want – it does not indicate your achievements. A power statement has the ability to showcase what you can bring to the company.
4. Utilize Action Verbs
Start each of your sentences with action verbs for extra effect and to clearly state a sense of your achievements.
5. Use Specific Facts
Be sure to include specific facts including numbers, percentages and figures, to back up your achievements. One such example is: “Exceeded sales quotas by 50% over 4 consecutive years.”
Numbers can tell clearer than anything else just how successful you are and what an asset you will be for the company.
6. Clearly Tell the Employer “What’s In It For Them?”
It is obvious that every employer wants to know what you can offer them. Most of them are looking for someone to solve their particular problems, so you have to prepare your resume to answer their questions accordingly. How is this done?
Read the following list of questions carefully and make sure that the answers are included in your resume:
Identify any problems you were able to solve on the job
In what ways did your previous employer benefit from your performance?
In what ways were you able to improve upon the work completed by your predecessor?
Did you instigate a new program or system?
If so, what were the results of it? (Go into details.)
What part of your job gave you the most satisfaction?
What do you believe your supervisor and your co-workers would miss most about you when you leave?
In what ways did you make a difference in your job?
In what ways did you affect the company’s bottom line?
Were you able to save money for the company? How much?
Were you able to earn money for the company? How much?