Tips on How to Write Effective Resumes

by Checkmate Resume

Resume Writing

Here's a list of resume tips that you can check off as you write your resume:

1) Review the Job Posting Carefully

Read the job posting carefully to ascertain what your prospective employer is looking for. In order to meet his needs, you must know what he wants. Once you have figured out what he wants, inquire about his line of business and his corporate philosophy.

Learn to read between the lines. Some things are not always stated, but are implied. It's up to you to notice them and take them into account. Remember, your job application has to fit within the context of the specific job you are applying to and that of the broader organization.

2) Use Action Verbs

Start your sentences with an action verb to show that you are proactive and result-oriented. This will help you focus on your accomplishments. An action verb at the beginning of a sentence will most likely catch your prospective employer's attention. Remember to alternate the verbs that you use.

We provide a list of action verbs classified alphabetically and by skill categories.

3) Write Clear and Concise Sentences

Keep your sentences short and to the point. Convey only one proposition (idea) per sentence.

If possible, use bullets. Resumes are skimmed through quickly. Bullets make it easier for someone to scan through your resume and absorb the information.

4) Restrict Your Use of Articles to a Minimum

In order to save valuable space on your resume and put as much focus on your accomplishments, avoid using articles such as "the", "an", or "a". This is meant to screen out useless words in order to draw attention to the remaining ones.

5) Never Use "I" or Other Pronouns to Identify Yourself

Keep your resume to the third person (meaning that you should not be the narrator). This will make your resume look more professional and will give more credence to your accomplishments.

6) Use Professional Language

Use professional language in your resume. You want to convey the impression that you are presentable, reliable, and professional.

7) Use Industry-Specific Terminology

If you have a specialization, use keywords specific to your area of expertise. This will show that you know your "stuff".

8) Tailor Your Qualifications to the Job

Determine your job objective and customize your resume to achieve that objective. This will help you tailor your resume for the specific job.

Don't forget that for most jobs, there are many applicants. You want to stand out. How do you stand out? By being different. How can you be different? By being specific.

9) Prioritize the Content of Your Resume

Some of your past work experiences or accomplishments are more relevant to the job than others. Prioritize the more relevant information. Put what is more relevant higher on the page or first in an enumeration.

10) Use Statements That Demonstrate That You Can Resolve Problems Effectively

In order to sell to your employer the benefits of your skills, you need to show concrete examples of what you did in your previous functions. Simply showing what you did is not enough however. You also need to show what you achieved.

11) Screen Out Unnecessary or Irrelevant Information

Don't include in your resume personal information such as your age, marital status, or social security number. Stick to what is relevant. Focus on your skills and what you can bring to the job.

12) Be Positive

Avoid being negative in your resume. Omit the negative information or filter it out by rephrasing a negative experience into a positive one using PAR statements.

13) Be as Specific as Possible

Be as specific as possible regarding your accomplishments. Quantify your experience where possible. Cite numerical figures. The more concrete details you provide, the more credible you become.

Remember, what is vague is often suspicious.

14) Proofread Your Resume Many Times

When proofreading your resume, pay attention to details. Get into the habit of reading through your resume slowing. Don't skim through it. Avoid punctuation, vocabulary (typos), or grammar mistakes.

Once the first draft of your resume is done, let it rest. Come back on it a few days later.       

15) Have a Trusted Friend or Family Member Proofread Your Resume

Have someone else you trust take a look at your resume. Be open to his or her comments. What may look clear or obvious to you may not be so for a third party. Your prospective employer knows nothing about you except for what is written in your resume and cover letter.

You want to make sure that you are as clear as possible. The best way is to "test" your resume on someone else first before you present it to your prospective employer.

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