Tips for Creating a Winning Resume

Any job search starts with the resume. Creating a resume convincing enough to get an interview invite is the prime motivation here. Employers generally use the resume to separate the wheat from the chaff. So even if you are a rock star at whatever you do, a badly written resume will be passed up by a recruiter without a second glance. The tips mentioned below will provide more direction to your resume writing process and help you charm your potential employers.

Essentials for an Effective Resume

A good resume creates an accurate mental picture of your accomplishments and advocates on your behalf to the hiring manager or recruiter.

Content: Thoroughly analyze what the prospective employer is looking for and frame your resume and its contents accordingly. Your resume should not be a laundry list of all your job duties but should rather consist of accomplishments which are directly relevant to the employer. It is also advisable to follow reverse chronological order while detailing your educational qualifications and work experience. Never leave out basic information such as name and contact details.

Use action words to describe your achievements as they convey what you “did” rather than what your duties “were”. Words like prepared, managed etc. help you leave a good impression on the employer as they convey proactive behavior and ownership.

Customize your resume according to your audience, especially if you are making a career switch. Ensure the resume will be understood by the person reading it. Avoid jargon and grandiose language. A thesaurus should not be required to follow your resume!

Keywords: It is not practical for a recruiter to review each and every resume submitted on job portals. They might perform resume searches using specific keywords to find the appropriate candidate for any job opening. Using keywords to make sure that your resume is not missed in any of the resume search techniques is imperative. You can select these keywords off the job postings and use them in your resume.

Authenticity: Honesty is always the best policy. Tempted as you might be to embellish your accomplishments, more often than not, hiring managers are adept at uncovering these misrepresentations. Most companies have a procedure in place to perform background checks on all the new hires. Even if you get hired by fabricating information on your resume, it will most likely be discovered later. Refrain from any unethical behavior.

Format:  Be consistent with font and formatting and ensure that your resume is easily readable. Use adequate whitespace. You can choose to design your resume using professional formats available online. However, unless you are applying for a job as a designer, keep in mind that overly decorative resumes are distracting and usually frowned upon.

Keep your resume as short as possible. The length should not exceed two (2) pages under any circumstance. Do not ramble.

Proof-reading: Once you have drafted your resume, proof-read to check for content, spelling, grammar and formatting. If possible, it is always a good idea to have a second pair of eyes review your resume. A typing mistake might not seem like a big slip-up but it might end up being a deal breaker. Recruiters might use such criteria to choose one candidate over another when both candidates are equally qualified. It is better to be safe than sorry.

After completing your resume the next step is to apply for jobs. Check your resume each time you apply for a new job. Modify your resume according to your prospective employer’s needs. Submit your resume on job portals and keep them updated. You have to advertise yourself, so use as many resources as you have. Your social networking will come into play now. Keep your friends updated about your job requirements. Mail your resume to all those who can help you with the job search. Once you market yourself with the right strategy your chances of getting an interview invite increases.

Resume writing and submission is the first step towards your desired success. Why not create a first impression that reflects your worth.