Create a Killer Resume and Cover Letter

Secrets to Crafting a Killer Resume

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Preparing for a job interview involves several crucial steps. You’d likely consider the appropriate attire, practice your responses, and research the company. But what about your resume? Before submitting it, always take a moment to review and refine it to ensure it presents you in the best light.

Why? Because your resume needs to have something impressive about it, to make sure that you’re going to make a good impression before you even meet your potential employers. But to put together an impressive resume, you’ve got to keep a few rules in mind, and here are the most important ones. 

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Key Points for Creating a Killer Resume

  • Quantify Success: Use numbers to highlight your achievements. “Increased sales by 30%” speaks louder than just “Managed sales.” Quantifying your success provides concrete evidence of your impact and can make your accomplishments stand out more effectively to potential employers.
  • Action-Packed Verbs: Lead with verbs like ‘spearheaded’ or ‘innovated.’ They convey proactive engagement and leadership in roles. Using strong, action-packed verbs can help demonstrate your active involvement and initiative in previous positions, making your contributions more memorable.
  • Job-Specific Tailoring: Customize your resume for every position. Align your skills and experiences with the job’s requirements. Tailoring your resume shows employers that you are specifically interested in and suited for their role, increasing your chances of making a strong impression.
  • ATS Optimization: Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems. Ensure you include keywords from the job description. Optimizing your resume for ATS can help ensure that it gets past initial automated screenings and reaches human recruiters for further review.
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  • Crisp Formatting: Maintain a consistent, professional look. Prioritize readability, spacing, and font consistency. A well-formatted resume is easier to read and makes a positive impression, showing that you pay attention to detail and have a professional approach.
  • Highlight Big Names: Worked with renowned companies? Name-drop them. Their reputation can bolster your resume‘s weight. Mentioning well-known companies can lend credibility to your experience and signal to potential employers that you have been trusted by reputable organizations.
  • Clear Structure: Organize with clear headings. Segregate professional experience, education, skills, and other sections distinctly. A clear structure helps recruiters quickly find the information they need, making your resume more effective and easier to navigate.
  • Keep It Current: Regularly update your resume. Add recent accomplishments and prune older, less relevant experiences. Keeping your resume up-to-date ensures that it reflects your most recent skills and achievements, making it more relevant and impactful.
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  • Proofread Relentlessly: Eliminate any errors. A typo-free resume reflects attention to detail and professionalism. Carefully proofreading your resume helps avoid mistakes that could detract from your professionalism and reduce your chances of being considered for a role.
  • Add a Personal Section: Showcase hobbies or interests to give a fuller picture of you as an individual. Including a personal section can humanize your resume, providing insight into your personality and interests beyond your professional qualifications.

The Right Structure

In the competitive world of job hunting, recruiters sift through countless resumes daily. To ensure yours stands out and leaves a lasting impression, several factors are crucial. First and foremost, create a clear, easy-to-navigate structure. Precision in detailing your experiences and skills is essential; being concise does not mean omitting critical information.

In the competitive world of job hunting, recruiters sift through countless resumes daily. To ensure yours rises to the top and leaves an indelible mark, several factors are pivotal. First and foremost, craft a strong structure that’s easy to navigate. Precision in articulating your experiences and skills is essential; being concise doesn’t mean leaving out critical details.

Finally, a robust summary is crucial. Whether it’s an individual or an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) scanning your resume, that initial snapshot of your capabilities can make or break your chances. So, invest time in curating a summary that captures your essence professionally.

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In this summary, you’re going to need to include a few keywords, and these can usually be found in the job description. So, write about the role itself, write about your experience with it, and make sure you pack in as much specific detail as possible in no more than 100 words

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A Bit of Character

Everyone thinks a resume needs to be short, sweet, and strictly professional. However, when it comes to standing out from the crowd, it’s good to infuse your resume with a bit of character. Make sure it’s not a bore to read, as that’ll turn anyone off from going past your initial summary! 

“By making your resume original, you demonstrate your creativity and ability to use non-standard approaches in standard situations. It can be much more effective, than mentioning your creativity on the list of your professional qualities.” – A Simple Step by Step Guide to a Building the Perfect Resume

For example, if you’ve taken online guitar lessons regularly before now, make sure you write about your passion and skill in music, to help come across as that bit more personable. Similarly, if you like the arts, or you’re a big sports fan, why not write about your passion for these two hobbies? Prove you can have fun, prove you’ve got something to say in social situations, and never forget just how important it is to seem down to earth. 

Show, Don’t Tell

And finally, be sure to back up anything you put on your resume with a bit of evidence, especially if it’s a major achievement. Make sure you write about that certificate you earned or that award you were given, and even think about popping down some references, even if they aren’t asked for. 

Similarly, you’re going to want to write about your achievements in a manner that makes you seem like a real go-getter. The alternative is to write monotonously, and like you’ve been a part of things but never led the pack, and that might just set the wrong tone for the interview you go through. 

If you’re going to impress with your resume, you need to keep tips like these in mind when you write it – you’ll send the right message.

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Additional Resources

  1. Resumeble

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  4. Do you need a resume writing strategy that will work best for your career situation and current job search? Do you need the writing skills of a certified, published, and skilled resume writer? Look no further.

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  5. Resume Companion

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  6. ResumeWriters

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  7. Impress Employers with a Professionally-Written Resume. Your resume will include the right words, information, format and design employers want on your resume. Learn how to outsmart applicant tracking systems (ATS).
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  8. Cover Letters: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide
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  9. EarnBetter - Free Professional Resume, Personalized Job Matches

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