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5 Keys to a Winning Resume!

5 Keys to a Winning Resume!

by John West Hadley, Career Search Counselor


1. Create a Clean, Professional Appearance

  • Never use a font less than 10 point, or margins less than 1 inch.
  • Make sure Name & Address, Section Headings and Content stand out from each other via variations in font size, bold, italics, capitalization, etc.
  • Leave sufficient white space so that your resume is pleasing to the eye and easy to read; double space between sections, etc.
  • Make certain all indentations and bullets line up exactly.
  • Consider using full-justification (like a book or sales brochure).
  • Make sure there are no misspellings, bad grammar, or spacing problems.


2. Open With a Strong Summary of Qualifications

A job objective is about what you want, not about what the employer needs.  It is vital to have an opening statement of the skills, qualities and qualifications you bring to the table.  A common error is to make this primarily a list of technical skills.  Be sure to describe the business and leadership skills you offer.


3. Keep to the Right Length

Never, ever go beyond two pages, or you risk it ending up in the garbage.  Even if it doesn't, you've just shown that you can't communicate briefly, in that 'executive summary' approach.


At the other extreme, don’t arbitrarily limit your resume to one page, as long as you have something worth saying. And if you’ve been working 10 years or more, a one page resume makes it seem as if you haven’t accomplished much in your career.


4. Experience Bullets Should Be About What YOU Did

Phrases like “member of team that created…” convey little about YOUR contributions.  And be sure to use active words and tenses.


5. Don’t Just Tell What You Did, Talk About Results

A potential employer wants to know you can produce results.  Particularly powerful are statements about improving profits, increasing revenues, saving expenses, and more efficient use of resources.  And whenever possible, include numbers.


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