3 Major Resume Issues Solved
1/4/2012 11:51:29 AM
By Anish Majumdar, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
Stymied by a particularly difficult resume problem? You’re not alone. Many of the clients I work with in my capacity as a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) come to me because they’re not sure what the solution to a particular issue is. What’s interesting is that, by and large, most of the problems revolve around one of the 3 major issues below. Take a look- hopefully it helps solve your particular issue and get you moving towards a great new job!
Problem #1: Too Long
Yes, a resume needs to contain relevant job details and accomplishments. However, if your document is looking more like a novella than a concise summarization, something’s off. Overlong resumes are the SINGLE BIGGEST REASON behind rejected applications. The trick behind solving this issue isn’t thinking in terms of length, but focus.
Solution: Identify Your Personal Theme
Look through your work history. In what areas have you consistently excelled? Make a list of 3-5 skills that you possess, and which are heavily in-demand by potential employers (hint: analyze relevant job postings). These will form the “personal theme” of your resume, a set of ideas that are meant to differentiate you from the competition and pique interest in a reader, resulting in interviews. Develop and opening paragraph that lays your personal theme out and keep returning to it in different forms throughout the work history portion of your resume. This approach will lend focus to your resume and make it much easier to cut non-relevant information.
Problem #2: Too Messy
Many jobseekers turn to the included templates in MS Word as the underlying structure of their resume. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these templates are either outdated, loaded with unnecessary graphics, sidebars, etc., or else unsuited to the particular needs of recruiters and hiring agents. While it’s not necessary to start from scratch, some tweaking is required to de-clutterize your resume.
Solution: Implement a Reader-Friendly Structure
Structuring your resume to deliver a great experience for a reader is one of the best ways to ensure your document actually gets read. Ideally, your resume should divide up each of the following into separate sections:
- An opening paragraph
- A “Core Competencies” or keyword section listing in-demand terms (note: horizontal bullets work very well here)
- A “Professional Experience” section with job responsibilities described in paragraph form and “Key Accomplishments” listed as bullets.
- Brief closing sections listing educational credits, publications, etc.
Problem #3: Too Bland
You’re looking over the resume and, even though there’s nothing terribly wrong about it, it also doesn’t make much of an impact. Don’t ignore this feeling: if you’re not excited about submitting the document, chances are a reader won’t be excited to read it. Luckily, there is a fix for this issue: effective wording.
Solution: Utilize Active Language
If you’ve been searching the Internet for advice for on crafting a great resume, you’ve probably already come across the term “active language”. But what is it, exactly? Here’s a brief primer:
- Active language are brief sentences that tackle 1-2 main ideas without going into unnecessary detail.
- Active language on a resume is usually written in the third-person as opposed to the first person (i.e. don’t use “I”)
- Every sentence should start with a verb. Examples include Managed, Optimized, Controlled, Guided, etc.
Best of luck in your job search!
About the Author
Anish Majumdar is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Owner at www.ResumeOrbit.com. 95% of clients report a significant increase in interviews within 30 days, and all work comes backed by a 100% Satisfaction or Money Back Guarantee (in writing).
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