for Creating an Effective Resume
an employer looks at your resume, you've got about 30
seconds to make a good impression. That's the average amount
of time most employers spend reading a resume. To capture the reader's
attention, you need to be clear and to-the-point. And, that's not
all. Keep in mind the following guidelines to create an effective
Concise and Omit Irrelevant Information
don't want to read a long, drawn-out version of your life's accomplishments.
They have stacks of resumes to read, and want to know quickly whether
or not you would be a good fit for their company. So, be concise,
and exhibit your skills and abilities.
resume should only include information that will help convince an
employer to interview you. Descriptions of relevant skills and accomplishments
should be concise and to the point. Including irrelevant experience
and lengthy descriptions will bury the important information. Only
include personal information where it demonstrates an important
personal quality or qualification. A resume should represent what
you can do on the job, not what you do in your personal life.
Forget Your Objective
diving into writing your resume, plan out your career objective.
Make it clear and focused. Remember to keep the message consistent
throughout your resume as you summarize your skills and accentuate
a Powerful Opening Statement
you are a recent graduate or have limited experience in your career,
you should include a Job Objective statement at the top of your
resume, which will help focus the reader's attention and describe
what type of position you are looking for.
you have experience in your career field, you want a powerful Summary
statement that illustrates your best qualifications for the position
at the top of the resume. A well-crafted opening statement should
convince an employer to keep reading.
Use industry jargon and acronyms to reflect your familiarity with
the employer's business, but not to the point where it makes your
resume hard to read or understand. Spell out acronyms in parentheses
if they are not obvious, such as TQM (Total Quality Management).
It: Focus on Your Benefit to Employers
your experience in a way that relates to the skills the employer
is seeking. Focus on highlighting accomplishments that will arouse
the interest of employers who read your resume. Answer the question:
"How can this candidate fulfill the role and make a positive
impact?" If a company is looking for a candidate who has leadership
ability, highlight your experience in training new employees or
in managing projects. Remember that the goal is to get the interview.
Draw attention to your resume with keywords that describe
your skills and experience. Inserting descriptive keywords in your
resume is becoming more important as an increasing number of companies
search for resumes in computer databases that find matches through
keywords. These words should relate to the job you are applying
for while highlighting your own skill set.
Action-Benefit statements: Avoid Boring List of Job Responsibilities
best resumes describe experience using Action-Benefit statements,
which describe an action you took in response to a challenge or
opportunity, and explain how your action had a positive benefit
for your company. This method brings your experience statements
to life and demonstrates how you can achieve success and produce
Action-Benefit statement might read "Analyzed declining sales
and developed campaign that increased orders by 30% in less than
one month." This statement describes the situation or challenges
you faced (declining sales), the Action you took (developed a campaign),
and the Benefit of your actions (a 30% increase in orders).
need to give the reader an idea of what you have done throughout
your career, but instead of focusing on the duties you were responsible
for at your last jobs, list your accomplishments in action-benefit
statements along with quantifiable facts to back up your claims.
Use numbers, percentages and dollar amounts to show your success
in achieving company goals. Instead of writing "Responsible
for increasing sales in my territory," use "Increased
sales in my territory 150% over 6 months. Managed 30 accounts increasing
revenues from $1.5M to $2M annually."
Portray yourself as active, accomplished, intelligent,
and capable of contributing. Examples: Managed, Launched, Created,
Directed, Established, Organized, and Supervised. Never use the
same action word repeatedly. Instead of using a word like 'directed'
over and over, use synonyms such as controlled, supervised, guided,
or managed. Utilize a thesaurus, career advice Web sites and other
sources if you are having problems coming up with new ways to say
the same thing.
Be Professional, Not Personal
You do not have much room in a resume, so why take up
valuable space with information unrelated to the position you are
seeking? Focus on your work experiences and never refer to personal
information such as race, religion, marital status, age, political
party, or even personal views. In all but a few instances, it would
be illegal for the employer to consider such issues. Also, avoid
the use of humor and clichés in resumes and forget about
mentioning the fact that you enjoy horror movies and surfing in
your spare time.
If you want to include personal traits in your resume, such as "Dependable,
Highly-Organized, Self-Motivated, and Responsible," rather
than just listing these traits, try demonstrating these characteristics
using examples from your experience. For example, instead of writing
"Dependable," write "Never missed an important deadline
in five years as a project manager."
a Positive Tone
resume should present you in the best possible light. If you don't
possess every skill an employer is seeking, do not emphasize your
shortcomings. Focus on what you can offer.
or exaggerating about your skills and abilities will only come back
to haunt you.
Organized and Logical
addition to reviewing your experience, employers also use the resume
to sense whether you are organized, logical, and concise. Make sure
your resume is balanced, neat, visually appealing, and flows consistently.
Clearly separate sections and emphasize section titles.
Abandon the use of exorbitant, exquisite vocabulary. In other words,
don't try to impress employers with the depth of your vocabulary.
Use words everyone can understand.
Sections When Possible
Try to combine any short sections together to make your resume more
compact. For example, if you only have one entry under training,
consider placing it under your education instead and change the
section title to "Education and Training."
Use Common Section Headings
Use common section headings. Examples: Objective, Experience, Employment,
Work History, Skills, Summary, Summary of Qualifications, Accomplishments,
Achievements, Capabilities, Education, Professional Affiliations,
Publications, Licenses and Certifications, and Honors.
Never refer to salary in your resume. Save this information for
Writing in First Person ("me" or "I")
resume is not a personal correspondence, and should not include
words such as "I," "my," or "me."
Replace such personal pronouns with short action statements. Instead
of saying, "I wrote several articles for the company newsletter,"
try, "Researched and wrote several articles for the company
newsletter." Save the first person pronouns for your cover
There are several places where it would be appropriate to put your
professional title. You can place your title next to your name in
the format "Ahmed Abdullah, FCA." You can include it in
your Summary, Education, or Licenses/Certifications sections. If
your title is an important qualification in your job search, be
sure it appears at the top of your resume.
References in Your Resume
You do not have to include references on your resume. Most employers
will assume you can provide references if they are requested.