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Some guidelines for
1. Concise style
As a first step, many resumes are scanned rather than read word for word, at least on the first go-through. That means that keeping things concise and precise will help boost your chances of getting
2. Outcomes and results
Potential employers don’t want to just know where you work: they want to know what you’ve done for the places you’ve worked for. Show specific outcomes and results, whether it’s new traffic to a business website, a big project completed, or a certain number of sales. Try to use at least one concrete outcome or result for each job you mention that shows a successful result.
3. Action verbs
Don’t say what you “were” in a certain position, but say what you did. You promoted, or trained, or recruited, or sold or created. Action verbs help keep
If possible, putting actual statistics and numbers in
5. Increasing responsibility
If you changed roles even slightly with previous employers to take on more responsibility, list your new role as a separate job. Highlighting promotions and increased responsibility like this shows potential employers that your current or former employers found you worth promoting, which says a lot.
Here’s where you can really tailor
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You should definitely list any honors you’ve received as an employee (or as a student if you’re fresh out of college). Also, you may include results from your most recent employee review, as long as you were commended on a great job. Even being an employee of the month for a fast food restaurant you worked in during school can show that you’re a hard worker and care about your job.
A few other things employers might look at
While you’re polishing up
- Your Credit Report: Your credit report isn’t just used by lenders to gauge your financial responsibility. Depending on your state law and local regulations, it can also be used by potential employers to gauge how responsible you are with your life in general. A clean credit report can make the difference between getting hired and not getting hired. Pull a copy of your report before sending out resumes to make sure it’s error-free. If you have a load of
debt, consider transferring it to low-cost credit cards and paying it down quickly to clean up your report a bit.
- Your Social Media Profile: Your internet reputation has a lot to do with your hire-ability these days. Clean up your photos and posts, and run a Google search on yourself (see Are Your Social Media Habits About to Cost You Your Job?) to make sure nothing too unsavory comes up. Photos of or posts about having a couple of drinks on a night out shouldn’t hurt you unless you’re applying to a religious or non-profit organization that’s very picky about reputation, but you should remove everything that might suggest you like to party hard or that you have recently made poor life choices. More and more employers are checking up on social media, so make sure it’s under control before you apply!