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3 Questions Your Resume Needs To Answer

February 19, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 141

Writing a resume isn't easy. Oftentimes, the issues that trip us up the most really boil down to a mistake in perspective. The biggest one by far, regardless of industry or experience, is thinking you need to somehow reduce an entire career to 1 or 2 pages.

For starters, this isn't really possible. Who except a candidate just starting out in the working world doesn't have a host of different accomplishments to his or her name? And yet, this is frequently what trips up people in the midst of creating a resume. They swap in certain job details, swap out other accomplishments, tweak and fiddle in the hopes of unlocking that "secret combination" that results in a document that lands interviews. But it rarely works.

Don't waste time going down this road. Instead, focus on answering these 3 questions every potential employer will ask when scanning your resume:

1) Does the candidate have relevant experience?

This is the first hurdle your resume will face, and it has to be cleared quickly. Why are you applying for this job? What skills and successes can you highlight to support your candidacy? Unless you're applying for an internship, no amount of text that waxes on about your enthusiasm and "desire to learn/grow" is going to work here. Here's what will:

-A succinct opening paragraph that DEMONSTRATES 3-4 key attributes. Focus on expressing skills that are in-demand for the types of jobs you're applying to.

-Using the majority of space in the work history portion of your resume to describe relevant jobs. Worked jobs in a different industry? No problem, just describe them briefly and move on to something more pertinent. This sends a clear signal to a potential employer that you're a professional with a clear goal in mind (always a good thing).

-Including any certifications and advanced training credits within the "Education" section of your resume that might be relevant to your target job.

2) Is this candidate a safe bet?

No potential employer wants to take unnecessary risks. Are there any red flags in your resume? If so, these need to be tackled effectively prior to submitting for a new job. Otherwise it will in all likelihood be passed over. Be on the lookout for:

-Any "work gaps" in your career. Spending a few months between jobs is fine. However, any gap over 5-6 months should be tackled via a 1-2 line "Career Note" that addresses the time period. FYI: it's perfectly acceptable to mention taking care of family obligations here. Just be upfront about it.

-Any information that might possibly be construed in a negative light. Frequent offenders include reasons why you were laid off at a job and listing any physical or health information. When in doubt, cut it.

3) Is this someone special?

While striking a professional tone is important, that doesn't mean you can't boast about something you're particularly proud of. If you've recently run a half-marathon or created a new charity event at your last job, include it! Human details like this can really help differentiate you from the competition and serve as a natural ice breaker during the interview phase.

I wish you the best of luck in your job search! Should you have any questions about your job search documents, please don't hesitate to reach out. I'm here to help.

Anish Majumdar is a nationally recognized Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and founder of 95% of clients report a significant increase in interviews within 30 days and all work comes backed by a 110% Satisfaction Guarantee. Submit your resume for a free critique at today!

Source: EzineArticles
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