A Prescription for a Winning Resume

John Krautzel
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Without a winning resume, you might find it difficult to land a job interview. Your resume is a snapshot of your professional and educational history, and there are certain things you must do to boost its chances of getting noticed. Here are four tips for creating a winning resume that grabs and keeps the attention of employers.

1. Think Like the Hiring Manager

One of the best strategies for creating a winning resume is to put yourself in the hiring manager's shoes. As a hiring manager, you wouldn't want to waste time reading information that has nothing to do with the position. Therefore, before creating your document, read through the job description thoroughly, and determine exactly what the employer wants. When listing your qualifications, use keywords and phrases directly from the job description, and be as detailed as possible.

Make sure each word counts, be specific and list measurable accomplishments that demonstrate why you're the best fit for the job. For example, instead of listing that you "have experience using Google Adwords," explain that you "Created an international Google Adwords campaign that boosted sales by 35 percent in a single quarter."

2. Keep Your Document Short and Simple

Unless you're aiming for a job in academia or a CEO position, there's no need to create a lengthy resume. If possible, cut your resume down to a single page that's easy to read. Make sure it only includes pertinent information that helps hiring managers make an informed decision about whether to call you for a job interview.

3. Place Your Education Toward the Bottom

Your education is important, but not as important as your work accomplishments and skills. Therefore, it's best to place the Education section of your resume toward the bottom. Hiring managers might be impressed with your alma mater or grade point average, but they're typically most interested in knowing what you can do for the firm.

4. Use a Standard Resume Format

A winning resume has a standard format that's free of fancy fonts, colorful images and other distracting items. Use a familiar font style and size, such as 12-point Times New Roman. This resume style might seem boring, but it's the best choice for candidates applying for professional positions. This resume format also helps your resume get through applicant tracking software systems. If you're sending off a hard copy of your resume, print the document on plain white or beige paper, and use standard black ink.

Use these four tips to create a winning resume that gets noticed by hiring managers. Upon completion, make multiple copies to hand out to hiring managers during job interviews and recruiters. What are some additional tips you'd suggest for creating a winning resume?


Photo courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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