4 tips for writing an awesome resume to score that new job

Mar 1, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. ET
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Does your resume showcase you as much as you deserve? Most don’t. If you’ve applied for multiple jobs and waited in vain for a call or email asking you to come in for an interview, the problem may lie in your resume.

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Your resume whimpers when it should shout

If your resume now lists your job functions such as “responsible for supervising seven employees,” you’re not showcasing your skills. Don’t submerge what you can do in vague generalities or weak phrases such as “responsible for.” Instead, proclaim your accomplishments with strong verbs such as increased, achieved and managed and the bottom-line results you created for your past employer.

Consider these examples: “reduced annual operating expenses by $210,000,” “increased employee retention by 33 percent” and “processed more than 69 orders daily, resulting in a monthly revenue increase of $79,000.” When you offer concrete specifics like this, you let a future employer know the positive results hiring you might bring.

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Your resume emphasizes your weakness and not your strength

Take a look at your resume from the perspective of a future employer. What catches your eye and is it what you want? For example, have you switched jobs every year? If so, and you list your job tenure on the left margin, a prospective employer may set your resume aside. List your job titles on the left margin, so your progressively more responsible titles first catch the eye.

Your resume shows lack of focus

If you were an employer, who would you rather hire: someone with a greater depth of experience in the job you’re seeking to fill or an applicant who brings to the table a wide variety of different types of jobs? If you truly want to land a job, you’ll customize your resume to fit the skills needed for that job and to downplay your non-related experience. For example, if you hope to land a management job and your background contains equal parts of technical and managerial experience, highlight your management accomplishments.

Don't forget to proofread

Re-read your resume at least three times, proofing it carefully. Ask a friend to proofread as well. Send it to yourself, so you can see how it transmits electronically. You can’t afford a typographical or grammatical error.

Is there a job you want? Write the resume you deserve.

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If you have a career questions you’d like Lynne to answer, write her @lynne@thegrowthcompany.com. Lynne is an executive coach and author of Solutions and Beating the Workplace Bully, AMACOM. You can follow Lynne through her other posts on sheknows.com, via www.workplacecoachblog.com or @lynnecurry10 on twitter.

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