Ways to Make a Resume More Effective


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: Heidi writes: What are some tricks to making resumes more effective? I am not having much success in finding a new job and at least one person has suggested my resume could be stronger. But how?
The Career Doctor responds: I don’t know about tricks, but I can certainly give you some strategic pointers. I am constantly amazed at how many bad resumes I see on a regular basis — and with all the articles, books, and Web-based resources, I simply do not understand how it is possible. Let’s start with the purpose of a resume. A resume is a marketing document designed to arouse enough interest in a prospective employer to call you for a job interview. It’s a statement of facts — education, skills, and accomplishments — designed to show how you would make the ideal candidate for the open position. A resume should focus on the positive. It should not include any negative information. It should also not include duties and responsibilities, salary information, names of supervisors, or references. And a resume should be tailored to each specific job, each specific employer. Once you have your resume written, you’ll want to modify it each time you send it off. From the job description and from the company’s literature or Website, pull some of their words and jargon and incorporate them into your resume. Finally, consider adding some kind of summary at the top of your resume. You could use a keywords section, a job title, or a qualifications summary… something that a hiring manager will see from a quick scan of your resume. And please do not forget that looks and writing matter. Make the resume attractive and avoid all grammatical errors. Do not use a template, but instead create your own format or borrow one from a resume you find attractive. And whenever possible, have someone proofread your resume before you send it out. For more help with resumes — from articles to tutorials, samples, and more — go to this section of Quintessential Careers: Resume and CV Resources for Job-Seekers.