Tips for Writing & Designing a Resume

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Writing a Resume
Consider using the following techniques as you approach writing your resume.​

Customize your resume for each position you are submitting it for.
Use your summary or profile section to highlight your skills and expertise as they relate to the specific job. Better yet, carry this customization throughout the entire resume. It may be convenient to create several versions of your resume based on common positions you will be applying for, thus eliminating the amount of customization you will have to do for each job.

Make sure the rest of your resume supports your summary, profile, or objective.
If you include in your summary that you have been "a consistent top seller for your region," you should include specific examples in the body of your resume to reinforce this statement.

Include key words on your resume.
Keep the job description close by when you are customizing your resume, so that you are including key words and phrases that fit the job, field, or occupation. Recruiters often scan a resume in under 15 seconds. They are looking for key words that show you have the skills and knowledge required for the position.

Be concise.
Since some recruiters look at as many as 500 resumes to fill one position, they want to see your accomplishments, skills, and experiences in as few words as possible. Bullet points and very concise language can showcase your communication skills while highlighting your areas of expertise.

List your past work accomplishments (not just your responsibilities) using some form of measures.
Hiring managers want to compare your skills and abilities to the other candidates they are considering. For example, tell them what percentage you increased sales or the number of staff that you managed or the specific scope of a project.


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Designing a Resume
Consider using the following techniques as you approach design and edit the text of your resume.​

Use white space and bullet points to help emphasize what you want the hiring manager to know about you.
If the hiring manager is scanning to see if you meet the requirements but can't easily spot the information, you may get overlooked.

Make it easy to read. Some ways to make sure your resume is easy to read include:

Using verb tense consistently. For your present job, you can use the present tense, such as "design and oversee production of building additions." For previous employment, use the past tense (designed and oversaw).

Varying your word choice. Even though you are trying to include key words, don't overdo it. If the key phrase you are trying to include is strategic planning, use a thesaurus to find alternative words, like defined program goals and measures.

Using bold and italics to emphasize key words or skills. Be careful to not overuse this technique, though. If there are too many things in bold or italics, the emphasis is lost.

Using a larger point font for the headings and subheadings. This can help direct attention to certain areas of your resume and also demonstrates a strong level of organization.

Using a conservative font, like Times New Roman, Arial, or Tahoma. If the font is difficult to read, your resume may not get past the first look.

Including adequate white space. This can be done around your headings, blocks of text, and with margins. Hiring managers can use this area to take notes before, during, or after an interview.

Spell check, spell check, spell check! Almost every recruiter and hiring manager has a story about the resume they threw out because of a misspelled word. Typos and misspelled words show that you are not detail-oriented or conscientious about your work.

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