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Resume writing can be an intimidating task because of the weight it carries. Whether you are a recent graduate seeking your first job or a current employee looking for your next job, this summary of your skills, education, and work experience serves as the bridge between you and “The Interview”. Writing a resume doesn’t have to be a source of anxiety, however. With a little time, effort, and the five tips I am going to share with you, you should be able to craft a resume that receives responses.
Less is More
Have you heard the saying “less is more”? Well, resumes are one of the subjects this statement applies to. Keep it short, one page if possible, but no more than two pages. Anything more and you may lose the reader’s attention, or it may be filed in the circular file, as hiring managers sometimes receive hundreds of resumes to read for a single position and are limited on the time they spend on each resume. We often want to share everything on the resume but, save some of it for the interview.
Skills Skills Skills
In the summary of skills section of your resume make sure that you list skills and not traits. There is sometimes some confusion between the two. Examples of skills include typing, data entry, accounting, writing, etc. Dependable, honest, hardworking, etc. are examples of traits NOT skills. If you are unsure if it’s a skill or not, you can test it by asking yourself if it describes something that you Do well or if it describes You personally. Don’t overwhelm the reader with a laundry list of skills, four to six will suffice, no more than eight.
Hard or Soft
Balance out your resume with both hard and soft skills. If you list six skills, ensure that half of them are hard skills and the other half soft skills. The chart provided below provides a definition for and examples of both (zipjobs.com).
Back in Time
When stating your work experience, don’t travel too far back in time. It is not necessary to list every single job that you have held since you entered the workforce. Include only the last ten years of your career. You can always discuss other relevant work experience in a cover letter or during your interview. There is an exception to this rule. If a position that you are applying for requires specific experience that you gained from a job that you held over 10 years ago, include it on your resume.
Be consistent with your verb tense usage. This is a common resume error. When you are referring to your previous jobs, make sure that you use past tense verbs in your job descriptions, i.e. managed versus manage. Likewise ensure that you are using the correct tense for your current job description. It might cost you an interview if you list attention to detail as a skill and then have a resume riddled with verb tense errors.
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