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10 Things Your Resume Should Do

  1. Stand out in a stack of resumes
    Employers receive hundreds of resumes all the time, and unless yours catches the employer’s eye, it might wind up in the recycling bin. If you don’t feel confident in your layout creativity, have a visually gifted friend help you, or check out sample resumes and resume advice on career websites.
  2. Highlight your accomplishments
    Anyone can demonstrate a work history, but employers want to know how you’ll add value to their team. Wow potential employers with a list of four or five outstanding achievements that demonstrate talents and skills that would benefit an organization.
  3. Use your past experience to show your potential
    No matter how experienced you are, your best selling point is not what you have achieved, but what you’re capable of achieving -- your potential. Instead of creating a timeline of the jobs you’ve had since high school, show how your experience demonstrates a set of skills and qualities the employer is looking for.
  4. Save a tree
    Keep it interesting, but keep it brief - no more than two pages, but one is far preferable. This will also demonstrate that you are efficient, and that you care about saving space, time, and the environment!
  5. Include your dates of employment
    Think about it, if someone left something out that you expected to be included, what would you think? If your job history has gaps, make up for it with a stellar set of career highlights.
  6. Include your most current contact information
    It seems obvious, which is why you can’t afford to overlook it. There’s nothing worse than realizing that you didn’t get the job because the employer couldn’t reach you.
  7. Contain active rather than passive verbs
    There’s no better way to create an impression in an employer’s mind that you are a go-getter than to choose verbs that convey action. Instead of saying, “was responsible for…” try using words like “prioritized,” “produced” or “streamlined.”
  8. Be proofread backwards at least once
    It sounds silly, but it will focus your attention on finding errors rather than getting hung up on content.
  9. Be read by at least two people who aren’t you or your potential employer
    Have some very honest friends or family look over your resume and give you feedback. If it really stinks, they’ll tell you, and if they care, they’ll help you make it great. And if it’s quintessential resume perfection, they’ll boost your ego!
  10. Give you something to feel good about
    Your resume should be a source of pride and confidence. If you glance at it before an interview and it doesn’t reassure you that you’re the best person for the job, then you’re not finished.

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