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If your resume is difficult to read, fewer people will read it.

The #1 rule of resume writing

As a job candidate there are many variables that are beyond your control when applying for a job. Employer perceptions, personal preferences and competition are just a few.

Resume writing is an art form. There is no foolproof advice that will guarantee your resume to land an interview, however there are many different aspects that make up a great resume and in order to succeed you need to make sure your professional resume ticks all the right boxes.

There are millions of tips on how to write the best resume but the number rule of professional resume writing is as follows:

If your resume is difficult to read, fewer people will read it.

A well designed resume should aim to allow any person to pick up your resume up and read it. Your resume needs to allow 100% of people who wish to read your resume the ability to do so. I’m not saying everyone will understand what you do on a day to day basis, but they must be able to read through the resume and clearly be able to identify your work history, dates, skills, achievements etc.

So where do job seekers go wrong when preparing their resume writing?

Too much “make-up”

A resume is a marketing document and as such needs to be written in a professional way. Think about all the important documents you have received. The document is professionally laid out, spelling and grammar is correct, and the document is formatted and presented professionally. Your resume has one single purpose and that is to get you a job. It is not a work of art that is going to be hung up in the living room or framed in the study.

Trying to “Deceive the Reader”

The reader of the resume is only interested in the facts! Hiring managers and recruiters read hundreds of resumes on a daily basis and can easily pick up a resume that is exaggerated or sounds
“too good to be true”.

Wasting Time and Space

A good resume will attract the reader’s attention within the first 10-15 seconds. Alternatively, a bad resume will be deleted within 10-15 seconds. Do not waste the limited time and space you have on your resume to impress the reader. Focus on your achievements and the value-added skills you can offer your next employer. Use selected keywords to highlight your skills and promote yourself. Your resume is your selling tool and therefore needs to be able to sell all the key areas that will make you the perfect candidate for the job. Unfortunately once your resume has been deleted it will never be able to be viewed again. You have one chance to impress!

© RedStarResume Publications – www.redstarresume.com


Listing Achievements on Your Resume

February 11, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s really important to remember that achievements are essential to every single resume.

I’ve come across so many resumes that include no achievements whatsoever. It’s actually very common to see this, so it’s important that you include achievements in your resume as they provide a lot of value and depth. Most people forget to include achievements on their resumes because they simply don’t know how to communicate them.

The best achievements on a resume are always specific. A lot of people will include “helped to increase sales,” for example, on their resume, and this is far from effective. If you did increase sales, tell me a little more about this. What did you do to achieve this? Did you introduce or implement new tactics into the business? Instead of the generic “helped to increase sales,” include something like “Increased sales by x% over a 6 month period by introducing new methods of revenue generation.” It tells the reader what you did, how you did it, and how successful you were at it.

Be very careful to avoid generic achievements such as “effectively worked in a team environment” or “showed dedication.” I can assure you that plenty of other people will also list these achievements on their resumes, so you need to separate yourself from the competition by being one of the few to specify how you actually displayed those achievements.

It’s important to remember that hiring managers do not know you, so you need to be as specific as possible. Listing achievements is a good and effective way to do this, and it will definitely make you stand out a bit from your competition.

Good Luck!

© RedStarResume Publications – www.redstarresume.com

Laura is the Marketing Coordinator for RedStarResume, a business that provides resume and cover letter writing services for students, graduates and young professionals. http://www.redstarresume.com

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