Resume Tips: How to Write an Impressive Resume

Jul 17, 2017

Did you know that an average of 118 people apply for any given job? That’s a lot of resumes to sift through. The unfortunate fact is that most of them will be weeded out. Every executive search firm and hiring manager has unique requirements and qualifications, not to mention their own personal preferences and quirks. So how do you make sure your resume makes the perfect first impression, and doesn’t end up in the virtual trash bin?

1. Include a strong hook. Starting off with a bland objective or a list of employers won’t pique the reader’s interest. In today’s job market, it’s acceptable to lead with a brief, engaging summary of your experience, qualifications, and passions. Rather than a general, one-size-fits-all statement, it should be tailored to the position. Keep it short?one line is best, two at most.

2. Proofread, proofread, proofread. Even the smallest stray error or typo could cause the reviewer to discredit you, sending your resume to the bottom of the pile. Take the time to check and re-check, and then ask a friend or colleague to give it a once-over.

3. Make it web-friendly. Keep in mind that your resume is likely to be viewed on a computer, tablet, or perhaps even a smartphone. Remove bullet points, numbered lists, and any other resume format that may not translate well across devices. If you include hyperlinks in the digital version, remove them before printing a hard copy.

4. Show them the numbers. Even if the person reviewing your resume doesn’t care much about metrics, a higher-level executive most likely does. If you can quantify the monetary results of a project you’ve managed or some other cost-cutting or revenue-boosting achievement, you’ll greatly increase the chances of landing an interview.

5. Strive for the appropriate length. An effective resume is concise and can be scanned over with ease. Busy HR screeners aren’t likely to sift through a 5-page missive. Only include value-adding information, with no fluff. That said, if you’re a seasoned industry veteran, don’t omit details that are relevant to your executive experience.

6. Use keywords, but don’t stuff them. Hiring managers look for certain keywords based on the positions they’re looking to fill. A contract staffing position for an IT firm will be associated with different terms than an executive search for a CEO. Get ideas for keywords from job descriptions, the company’s website, or potential colleagues’ LinkedIn profiles. Just don’t overdo it. If your resume is bursting with buzzwords, but light on substance, it’s likely to get dismissed.

7. Stick to business. Your resume is a career resource, not the place to point out your political views or to discuss your personal life. Only include information that’s relevant to the position or highlights why you’re the best candidate for the job.

By incorporating these resume tips into your job search preparation, you’ll greatly increase your chances of snagging the right kind of attention to land the job.

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