By Taunee Besson, CMF, CareerCast.com Senior Columnist
Career Expert Blogs from CareerCast.com
Responding to all job listings with your one, perfect resume is a sure way to commit job-search suicide, even if you've created a tailored cover letter.
Potential employers want to know specifically what you can do for them, so if you craft your resume for each opening, the screener is more likely to note the difference and give you the opportunity to talk in person.
Here are some time-tested guidelines for writing a tailored resume:
• Begin by stating a specific objective
Example: "Credit analyst for Alpha Corp." Then make sure the rest of your resume speaks to this position.
• If you use a qualifications summary, it must be specific to your job objective
Phrases like "Results oriented," "Hands-on" and "People person" have become clichés, so don't use them.
• Put the most important facts on the top two-thirds of the first page
Remember, you're hitting the high points here, not telling a life story.
• A listing of job titles and duties can be pretty boring to read
On the other hand, accomplishments that outline your unique contribution put real sizzle into your resume. Use action verbs such as collaborated, designed, planned, developed, initiated, sold, mentored, etc.
• Quantify whenever you can
Mentioning that you increased territory sales by 50% in one year or managed and decreased expenses by 20% through operational efficiencies tends to capture the reader's attention.
• Name-dropping also can be useful
If you've worked with highly respected clients, give their names. If your responsibility covered an eight-state area, mention it.
• Lead with your strongest suit
When you're listing your current or previous job title, company and dates of employment, think about which would be most impressive to the reader and put that first or in bold type or italics. (Dates rarely deserve this honor.)
• Use an outline format rather than paragraphs
Information grouped in more than 3-4 line clumps looks onerous, especially if the recruiter is reading through dozens of resumes.
• Include continuing education along with your degree(s) in the Education section
Savvy employers will appreciate your efforts to keep current with state-of-the-art developments.
• If you have volunteer work or a hobby that you're passionate about, mention it under Other Facts
You never know when the reader is an avid snowboarder or hiker too.
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