Wednesday, October 10, 2012

5 Resume Improvements

There are many ways to tell if your resume will be a success when it gets to the hiring manager's desk. One of the best of these techniques is to read it as if it were not your own work. Would you be compelled to read it if you weren't the author?

If you answer "no" to that question, it's time to make some improvements.

It's important to note that your resume doesn't need to be a full-on disaster to warrant tweaking. The smallest errors can cost you the job, as unfair as that seems. The nature of today's job market means that a candidate who has an application that is just a little more polished than yours will ultimately be more attractive to the employer.

Improvements to your resume don't necessarily need to come from major overhauls. Instead, they can come from a series of smaller tweaks. Here are five tips for implementing these changes:

  • Don't rely on the computer's spell check. These programs, while helpful, can aren't foolproof. Read over your resume with your own eyes before sending it. You should also have someone else check it, as you will not always have the most accurate perspective of your own work.
  • Organize your work history so that your most recent jobs are listed at the top. This style is preferred by most employers, as it makes it easier for them to determine where you worked and when.
  • Eliminate all unnecessary words and simplify your language. For example, personal pronouns such as "I," "my," and "me" are not needed since it is clear that your resume is about you.
  • Review your formatting to make sure that it is easy to read. Bold, italicize, or underline key points, and create a bulleted list for your job functions.
  • You can sometimes miss awkward sounding sentences if you just read your work to yourself. That's why you should read your resume aloud, as it will help you identify passages that need improvement or clarification.

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