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There are so many resumes out there – How can I make mine shine?

Developing a resume is the first step in any successful job search and is the necessary key required by all employers before accepting any application. Time is of the essence in today’s job market, and companies are looking to fill open positions as quickly as possible.

An effective resume gets employers interested in contacting you, and should therefore be considered a marketing tool for yourself. In such, as noted by the trusted employment research website Workopolis, your resume needs to convey three things to those who read it:

  1. You have the skills, talent and personal qualities to accomplish the things that are important to an employer.
  2. You have a history of training, accomplishments and/or experience to substantiate this claim.
  3. You will be an asset to the organization insofar as you facilitate its operations, have positive work attitudes and get along with others.

In such, here is a list of tips to carefully consider when writing of reviewing your resume prior to sending it out.

  1. Determine your career objective prior to writing your resume. Doing so will allow you to structure the content according to your goals and the requirements of the field you wish to enter.
  2. Use key words. Based on the wording of job description you are responding to as well as your knowledge of the field, use power words to add strength to your resume and support your claim that you are a knowledgeable and experienced candidate.
  3. Use specific examples to quantify your successes. Emphasize your accomplishments by defining them in terms that will seem interesting and profitable to your potential employer. E.g.: Increased sales by 20%, reduced cost by 10000$, etc…
  4. Consider your resume as a personal marketing tool. Employers receive hundreds of resumes from a variety of applicants, and most resumes are scanned very quickly before a decision is made on whether or not to consider your candidature on the basis of the first impression you leave. In such, use your resume as a personal advertisement in which the marketed product or service is you and the expertise you are offer the employer. What are your skills and features? Why will you be a good asset to their organization?
  5. Focus on your strengths. Construct your resume in a way that will accent your strengths in accordance to your work objectives and duties. Highlight the breadth of your knowledge and show what you know by relating it to your experience and accomplishments.
  6. Use a template that is clear and well organized. In order to help the reader scan through your resume quickly and effectively, use a format that facilitates the visual understanding of the information. Use a font size between 10 and 13 points, leave white spaces, use headings, and limit yourself to one or two pages.
  7. Have someone else read your resume. Getting a second opinion from an external standpoint can highlight some points you may have missed from such a close perspective. Also, it may elicit some questions from the reader you may not have considered, highlight some points you may have missed or point out some items that may be confusing to the reader.
  8. Avoid any spelling or grammar mistakes. Make sure you proof read the resume and cover letter and correct all spelling mistakes before submitting it to any potential employer. Also, do not rely solely on your word processing spell check as this tool is not always completely accurate. Remember, submitting a resume with errors does not look professional at all on your part and may cost you a great opportunity.

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