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Easy And Effective Resume Writing Strategies That Work
By Kathleen Tremblay
It's no secret that competition for jobs in today's market is tough. That's why we all need to be using effective resume writing strategies in every aspect of resume development.
Here, we are not going to show you how to put your resume together; instead, we will share five excellent resume writing tips that you can use.
Tip #1: Know the job and company you are targeting.
Do your research before you start or update your resume. Look up the company you are applying to, and learn everything you can about it. Search online, talk with people in the industry, and make notes. Learn their mission statement, what their goals are, and how they are perceived in the community.
Notice that when you are researching the company, you are likely to see a few things or facts that stand out or are repeated. Also, this type of research could bring issues to the surface that you might not have noticed or learned about earlier. In fact, you might also uncover some information that might make you uncomfortable about the company, showing you that they may not be a good fit for you. Remember, even though you are focusing on their needs, and how you can benefit them, using effective resume writing strategies means that it has to feel good to you, too!
When you are armed with plenty of information about the company and the job that you're targeting, you can begin to formulate some key phrases that you will use in your resume, whether it's in a qualification or an
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Tip #2: Talk their talk.
In other words, use language in your resume that the company and industry uses. Don't go overboard on jargon, but using industry terminology further shows the company that you know what you're talking about.
This can be a very valuable tip if you are posting your resume online. It is possible that an employer might search candidates using specific keywords and keyword phrases - and if you have these in your resume, this could help bring your resume to the top of the pile.
Word of warning: Use keywords and keyword phrases judiciously. Don't overuse them, otherwise you could be perceived as "keyword spamming." Just use them naturally, where appropriate. A good rule of thumb is that one keyword or keyword phrase for every 100 words of text should be fine.
Tip #3: Prepare your resume so that it targets one job and one company.
Thanks to the marvels of word processing, it is relatively easy to tailor your resume to the job and company your are targeting. If you are sending out 5 resumes to 5 different employers, make sure each resume is specific to each company. You can do this by putting a simple addition to a summary statement, such as: "How I Can Help ABC Company's Finance Department..." or some such statement.
Specifically mentioning the job and company in your resume will set you apart. The employers will see that you spent time focusing on them. These are not only effective resume writing strategies, but strategies that also show employers that you are different. You really care. You really do want to join their team! You look like a winner!
Word of warning: Be double sure, no... make that triple sure that you carefully review every resume you send out to ensure that you are matching your resume to the right company!
Tip #4: Highlight critical and important information.
It is perfectly acceptable to highlight information that you want to be sure your reader sees. Consider that you only have a few seconds to get someone's attention on your resume, and that someone is likely only scanning through at first. Knowing that, if, in your accomplishments, for example, you state that you have managed 35 accounts worth $1.2MM each, you might want to highlight it by either bold facing it, underlining it, or italicizing it, thereby increasing the odds that the reader sees it.
So now, your wording might be: "Managed 35 accounts worth $1.2MM each..." with it either boldfaced, italicized or underlined. I personally like underlining, but use whatever feels best to you.
Tip #5: Make sure that your resume reflects the job and salary you want.
I shudder when I see resumes that downplay the individual. It's almost never intentional, but it is very common to see someone (especially younger, more inexperienced workers) say something like this: "Seeking an Entry Level Position in Marketing."
How terrible! That statement tells the employer that the job seeker is only worth about $10 per hour (or less), even if the position is slated to pay $20 per hour. It also sends a message - even if it's an unconscious message - that the worker is 1) inexperienced, 2) not confident, and 3) not qualified.
A resume is no place to give an impression that you're looking down at your shoes and saying you probably aren't worth the $20 per hour that the job should pay!
So, how do you word your summary statement or title at the top of the resume? Even if you are not terribly experienced or somewhat new to the job force, accentuate what great benefits you have that you're offering the company! Don't be afraid to use your power!
Using the previous example, try this: "Seeking to use my skills and knowledge to help ABC Company's Marketing Department..."
Or, for example, let's say you have 5 years of sales experience, and your best quarter was when you sold $200,000 worth of services to 5 different accounts.
You wouldn't want to state that you were "seeking a sales position." Instead, try this:
"Looking to join the ABC Company's sales team where my previous high-volume sales experience will benefit your bottom line...and below that, you might say: "Sold $200K to 5 accounts within first quarter of 2009."
Of course there are countless other effective resume writing strategies you could use during your job search - far more than we have room for here! But these should get you started on the right foot!
Kathy Tremblay sincerely hopes that these effective resume writing strategies are helpful to you! If you enjoy these tidbits, and would like more free tips, please visit: Effective Resume Writing. And, once you're ready to put it all together, visit Creating a Resume to create a very powerful resume for yourself, and watch those calls for interviews come in!