Make a memorable impression with an attractive, results-oriented marketing document!
When a resume is presented in an easy-to-follow format, it’s easy for the hiring executive to tell at a glance if the candidate has the right skill set. When writing your resume, that is what you should aim to achieve – getting your point across at a glance.
To ensure that your resume makes the best possible impression, it’s essential to meet six challenges regarding its presentation, format and content. Remember, bullet points work better than paragraphs.
Since your resume is actually a marketing document, its visual appearance is critical.
Give your document an up-to-date style that attracts attention. This doesn’t mean using an italic typeface, cute logos or an outrageous paper color. Instead, be conservatively distinctive. Choose a sharp-looking typeface such as Bookman, Soutane, Krone, or Fritz. Your choice of paper color or background (if emailed) isn’t important, as long as it’s conservative — white, ivory or light gray.
If possible, adhere to these formatting guidelines:
- Don’t expect readers to struggle through paragraphs. Substitute two or three shorter paragraphs or use bullets to offset new sentences and sections.
- Don’t overdo bold and italic type. Excessive use of either defeats the purpose of these enhancements.
- Don’t clutter your resume. Everything you’ve heard about “white space” is true. Let your document “breathe” so readers won’t have to struggle through it.
3. Spelling, Grammar and Syntax
Typographical errors signal job-search death. An imperfect document isn’t acceptable.
Write your document in the active first-person tense, never the third person, and choose language that’s appropriate to the type of position you’re seeking. If you’re a mid-level manager, don’t use “Ph.D.” language. If you’re in line for CEO, COO or other top operating slots, use words appropriate to that level.
Resumes aren’t job descriptions. List your responsibilities, including their scope and your contributions. Generalizations aren’t impressive. You must cite specific figures, percentages and results when describing previous accomplishments in the workplace. To highlight your strengths, develop strong, results-driven position summaries.
A resume doesn’t work if readers can’t quickly grasp who a candidate is and what he or she seeks to do. Clearly and directly state who you are. Start with a one line objective then add a “summary” or “career or technical profile.” Unlike an objective, which states what you want, a summary describes what you know and quickly grabs readers’ attention. Don’t assume that stating your objective in a cover letter is sufficient. Cover letters and resumes must be able to stand alone.
A resume should be more than a list of past jobs. It should serve as a personal sales and marketing tool that attracts and impresses employers. Your qualifications, words, format and presentation must all be packages to sell you! Take credit for your accomplishments. That means not just saying what you did but also how well you did it. Know what makes you marketable and sell it.
To create impressive descriptions, ask yourself not only what you did but how well you did it. Then sell your achievements, not your responsibilities. You can do this by remembering these six critical rules.
The whole point – at a glance – is to have your resume stand out (without using red or multi colors) and to get you to the first step in the process: the phone interview.