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Traditionally, your resume is the first introduction a potential employer has to you. A good resume can show off your experience, technical skills and education in the best light, while an unreadable or chaotic resume can move you quickly into the “No” pile for your dream job. Below are some basic areas to focus on when creating or updating your resume.

1. Be Clear & Concise

Picture 150 resumes being scanned; if your resume were given 10-15 seconds, would the reader pull it out of the pile and consider you for the opportunity?

Easy to follow formats get read. Achieve this by:
• Using clear fonts such as: Times New Roman, Verdana or Arial.
• Fonts no smaller than size 10.
• Bullets help.
Bolds stand out.
Italics get noticed, but make sure to highlight what’s truly important.
• Dates of employment, career progression, and buzzwords are sought out first so make sure they are easy to find.

2. Use Specific Measurable Successes & Accomplishments, Rather Than Generalizations

Examples of measurables include:
• Retention Rates.
• Loss Ratios.
• Average Revenue, Numbers and Size of Clients.
• Number of Direct/Indirect Reports.

3. Customize Your Resume to Your Job Target

• Look at several job descriptions that you believe you are qualified to do.
• Now glance at your resume; do the requirements in the job descriptions match the accomplishment statements on your resume?
• Do not assume that a person reading hundreds of resumes will make large leaps. Fill in the gaps.

Hint: Remember! Look for buzzwords in the job description and include them in your resume. The person who initially screens resumes may not have a strong working knowledge of the position beyond the requirements given to them.

4. Stay Current

• Generally it is not necessary to go beyond 10 - 15 years experience. Most employers are more interested in your current responsibilities.
• Remember, the resume gets you the interview; if you meet in person, you'll have the opportunity to talk about previous experience.
• Make sure that all of your contact information including your phone numbers are accurate.

5. Don't Reinvent the Wheel

• Keep your formatting relatively simple.
• Avoid being so creative in the layout that it becomes difficult to navigate and read rapidly.
• Usually the reader is looking for a few specific answers (stability, technical ability, industry knowledge).

Hint: If the person becomes frustrated, it's unlikely you'll get into the desired stack.

6. Do Something Creative

• We know we said don’t be too creative, but you also don’t want to completely blend in with all the other resumes.
• If you are emailing the resume, it’s more difficult to stand out, but even more important. A strong, but brief cover letter will do the trick

7. Edit Specifics

Make sure to watch out for the following:
• Verb Tenses.
• Spelling and grammer.
• Accuracy of dates.
• Specialties.
• Don't use "I" or "My" if possible and all bullets should start with a verb.
• Avoid Capitalization Randomitis.
• Avoid repetition.
• If you have similar duties at two diffent jobs, list some specific projects that you worked on, share specific measurables, or reveal some time of differentiator; otherwise, you begin to highlight your lack of career growth.
• Remove "References Available" from the bottom of your resume.

Need more help? Have Questions? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help!