All resumes should be customized for the specific job to which you’re applying. Not only do you need to employ the specific keywords used within the position description, but the most relevant experience should be located on the top third of the first page of your resume. This is because that section of the page is what the hiring manager is going to look at first. And unfortunately, if you don’t catch his attention immediately, he may not read on through the rest of your resume.
Most people have a master resume that they keep and use as a basis for every job application. It’s easy then to pick and choose the experience and skills that are going to show you are right for the position.
If you have plenty of experience, a quick summary at the top of the resume is appropriate. Keep the summary to no more than 15 words and highlight the one or two skills that would be most valuable to the hiring company. For example, right under your contact information, you could write something such as “More than 8 years experience in closing multi-million dollar sales contracts.” This summary is great because it shows what you can bring to the position and encourages the hiring manager to read on.
Remember that your resume may have to pass inspection by the HR representative, who may not know your occupation as well as you. Therefore, it’s a good idea to spell out words instead of using acronyms. This way, you can be sure that the HR representative will understand how you meet the qualifications.
Most managers or recruiters won’t spend lots of time reading long paragraphs. For this reason, it’s best to use headlines and bullet points. You can use bold-type or italics to help highlight the skills or experience that you want to emphasize.
When describing your experience, always use active verbs and forgo simply stating your characteristics. For example, instead of describing a characteristic such as being “detail-oriented”, state that you” executed a testing plan to ensure zero errors in a software product”. Simply self-describing a characteristic doesn’t mean much. However, providing a specific example that shows what action you took helps the recruiter understand how you will best meet the company’s needs.