Resume Formatting

A powerful resume can make the difference between getting hired and getting no response!

Due to the current economy, there’s been a shift in the ratio of resumes to job openings. More people are after the same jobs, and hiring managers are being bombarded with resumes—most of which are from under- or over-qualified candidates, or from people whose job experience only narrowly matches the description. Often, managers do no more than scan a resume before moving on, so if your resume doesn’t hold up at first glance, it will probably end up in the trash.

A few of my own tips for creating a resume that works…

  • Make it easy to read! Funky fonts and artwork might work for someone in a creative field, but if the resume isn’t readable at a quick glance, it’s not going to do its job – Get their attention! 
  • Know your target. Learn about the company you’re submitting to. If you have experience which matches aspects of that culture (i.e., the company is launching a new Green product, and you have experience with FDA Organic certifications) make sure you mention it.
  • Don’t use “objectives” unless you’re a recent college grad. Your resume is not designed to tell your prospective employer what you want to do, but what you’ve already done.  Also, stating specific objectives can narrow the focus of your resume, and if you’re not clear on the true nature of the position you’re after (which most people aren’t, prior to the first interview), targeted objectives might actually rule you out for the role.  The person reviewing the resumes might say, great experience but according to his objective he wants….
  • You need a professional profile statement, a summary statement, or an executive summary. These opening paragraphs encapsulate who you are and what you do. This is the place for generalized statements and keywords like problem-solving, creative, motivated, etc. Save the details for later in the resume – but make sure you follow up on any assertions you make in the profile statement or summary. (There’s a great example of a summary statement in the article linked below.)
  • Use bullets vs. paragraphs. Bullet points put the important information at the forefront, so it’s easier for busy managers to scan.
  • Don’t be afraid to create more than one resume. Hiring managers look at enough resumes that they can tell when one is generic. Even if your “professional experience” section remains the same, your profile statement or summary should be targeted to the specific position you’re after, and make mention of specific qualities which are vital to succeeding in the job.

Above all, remember that your resume represents you on paper. If it’s lackluster and mediocre, the person reading it may think the same is true of you as well. Take the time to Be clear, make it outstanding, and let it lead the way to a successful career path that’s meaningful and fulfilling, challenging, yet flexible and intellectually stimulating.  Why not?  You only get one life!

One of the biggest reasons your job search may be taking longer than you’d hoped is because you lack clarity about whom you’re targeting.  I conducted a survey to see what was going on in the job market, and the results were astounding. 96% of respondents said they don’t have a career plan, but about 50% are actively involved in a job search! (Read more survey results here.)

In a market like this, it’s more important than ever to have a resume that speaks to your target audience, and which accurately and clearly communicates your professional and personal strengths.

In my upcoming BRIDGE for Job Search Tele-class, I’ll talk about how to use your resume to land the job you’re looking for.  Get a taste of the BRIDGE Job Search Tele-class!   Join me for a FREE preview Tele-Seminar! Click here for details.

More great tips on resume formatting see which breaks down the process into step-by-step “Decisions” so it’s easy to understand and follow.  (Check out the article here.)

As a certified professional coach, radio show host and workshop leader, Dawn helps sales, marketing, advertising and creative entrepreneurs to accelerate their career so they’ll love their life!

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