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10 Ways to Ensure You're Writing a Killer Résumé

  1. Using specific numbers to quantify your past accomplishments is not enough. Be sure to measure yourself against both your peers and your assigned targets.

  2. Using strong action verbs is OK. Grab a list of action verbs off the web and select the most accurate one. The strength you need is 100% accuracy. If you coordinated something, you didn't spearhead it. Use the right verb.

  3. Leave out interests and hobbies in favor of an Awards and Distinctions section. No one cares that you are a weekend rower. If you were an Olympic rower, that could be great to show. An activity is more than an activity when it is awarded a distinction. That shows achievement in other areas of life.

  4. List activities related to your profession, highlighting any association memberships and roles. Back to point 3 above, showing your fitness level is not the plus you think it is. Being a great rower does not mean you will be a better accountant.

  5. Highlight your experience interacting, interfacing, or communicating with any prestigious organizations. Managing vendors is one thing. Managing vendor relationships with big names like IBM or big places like MOMA or LAX can show a higher professional pedigree.

  6. Make your own list of key terms and input a properly designed Skills and Qualifications section. The keywords in any job description are not necessarily the ones programmed into the résumé-killing ATS machine. A word like "commercialization" may not appear in a job description for a role in commercialization. Make sure you know what to include, and avoid the run-of-the-mill quackery that keywords are ammo. They are only ammo if they can be backed up by data. Avoid puffery and ploys.

  7. Hold mock interviews with your senior-level networking contacts. If your résumé raised too many questions, you are losing time to screening questions. If this is the case, put those answers into the document. A résumé answers screening questions. That way, you can jump right to second-round and third-round conversation in call one.

  8. Post your résumé. If it gets too many hits, you need to refine it by finding the confounding information that is misleading others into thinking you might be a fit. A résumé is not meant to get loads of hits or elicit endless interview requests. In all reality, you want only one call. That would be the right one.

  9. Once all your work is done, you can write a professional summary at the top. Do not start with this. Discover your professional self by embarking on the résumé journey. Most résumé writers start with a summary blurb. You should use unique value propositions. Write two to five of them and give them hierarchical order. Smooth out the language, and you just summarized yourself.

  10. Keep it attractive. Select a non-Times New Roman font. TNR is hard to read. Use margins that are no narrower than one inch all around. Design heavy résumés distract. Thickly written documents ensure no one will be pulled into reading it.

Thanks for stopping by! Good luck out there!

Yours truly,

Résumé Writer Brian

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