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5 Tips for Crafting the Perfect Resume

April 8th, 2016

Your resume does a great deal of “heavy lifting” in your job application.  It introduces you to the company, highlights your best work, and provides a “snapshot” of your skill as a professional and your likelihood to succeed in this job.  That’s a tall order for one page!

Here are five ways to create a resume that will do its best work – and land you the interview:

Don’t start writing yet!

The first step in crafting the perfect resume isn’t putting pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard.  It’s reading, not writing.  Start by looking up the company’s website and social media channels.  As you read them, pay attention to how the company brands itself.  Look the company up in library databases, and ask your recruiter or others who know the company to tell you about it.

Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes.

Every hiring manager who reads your resume has one question in mind: “How do we benefit by hiring this person?”

Make your answer to this question the focus of your resume.  If a past job or task doesn’t directly relate to your ability to do this job well, cut it.  Instead, foreground the abilities and accomplishments that will benefit the company and department in the role for which you are applying.  Include both technical skills and “soft” skills like communication, problem-solving, and attention to detail.

Focus on your best accomplishments.

Most resumes still list job duties, instead of accomplishments.  This is a mistake.  A list of job duties tells the hiring manager what you were expected to do – but a list of accomplishments tells the hiring manager how you took those expectations and ran with them.  For each past position you list, choose your strongest accomplishments and use them as the basis for your description of the skills you used in that job.

Keep it clean.

Use consistent headers, font, and sizing throughout your resume to make it easier to follow.  White space between headings and paragraphs, as well as bullet points, also help “break up” the document and make it easier for the manager’s eye to follow.  A resume that is hard to read won’t get the attention it deserves, no matter how well written it is.

Get a review.

Ask several people you trust to review your resume.  Include family members, colleagues, and your recruiter.  They’ll help you catch any misspellings or typos, as well as provide feedback on the type of candidate you’ve portrayed.

At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our experienced recruiters can help you fine-tune your resume and place it before some of the best employers in St. Paul and beyond.  Contact us today to learn more about our recruiting services in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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