Use These Tips to Write an Excellent Resume

Nancy Anderson
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Your resume is the most important tool in your arsenal when it comes to selling yourself to potential employers. Therefore, it's vital to put time and effort into crafting an excellent resume that helps you get your foot in the door. Stand out from your competition and land more interviews by following these tips for creating an excellent resume.

Quantify Your Accomplishments

An excellent resume is more than just a list of vague accomplishments. Employers want to see numbers, so use numerical data, percentages or dollar amounts to quantify your major contributions in each role. For example, instead of typing a bland statement such as, "increased profits in the company's sales division," state "developed a sales strategy that increased profits by 40 percent during the fourth quarter." This information instantly grabs attention and makes recruiters curious about your methods. Quantifying your accomplishments this way lets recruiters know you're a candidate who produces solid results and can add value to the organization.

Link to an Online Profile

If you're a qualified candidate who sparked the interest of a hiring manager, there's a high likelihood that he'll search for you online. Make it easy for recruiters to find your professional information by including the URL to your LinkedIn profile on your resume. Make sure your online profile is professional and consistent with the information on your resume and cover letter.

Include Relevant Keywords

It's common for employers to use resume-scanning software to narrow down applicants, especially in flooded job markets. Using relevant keywords in your resume is crucial if you want the document to reach recruiters. An excellent resume includes multiple keywords taken directly from the job description. Common keywords include the industry name, job title, required skills and relevant software.

Keep It Professional

An excellent resume doesn't need to look pretty or smell great, so avoid using printed paper, fancy fonts, images or mild perfumes to spruce up your document. Create a simple, professional-looking resume that's free of any potentially distracting elements. Select plain resume paper (if you're sending it by mail) and easy-to-read fonts like Times New Roman, Arial or Tahoma.

Make It Scannable

Avoid typing large blocks of text that are difficult and sometimes overwhelming for recruiters to read. Keep your paragraphs short, and make sure there's enough white space separating your information. It's also important to incorporate bullet points into your document to ensure it's easy for reviewers to scan.

Minimal Contact Information

Even if you have multiple phone numbers and email addresses, there's no need to list them all. This information takes up valuable resume space and might pose a hassle for anyone trying to contact you. Make it as easy as possible for potential employers to get in touch. List one phone number with a voicemail service you control and a single professional email address linked to an email account you check daily.

It's not uncommon for recruiters and hiring managers to review dozens or even hundreds of resumes for a single position, so it's important for your document to stand out. Forget about generic, one-size-fits-all resumes. Instead, use these tips to create an excellent resume that grabs and keeps the attention of recruiters and sets you apart from other applicants.


Photo courtesy of Lauren's 365 at Flickr.comt

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