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Ten Tips to make a great résumé

 
Tip 1 - Use Titles or Headings That Match The Jobs You Want
With employers receiving hundreds of resumes you must make sure that your resume hooks an employer's attention within a 5-
second glance. A great way to do this is to use job titles and skill headings that relate to and match the jobs you want. For
example, compare the headings Roger used in his before resume to the headings used in his after resume. Before Resume:
Accounting / Record keeping
Administrative
Computer Skills After Resume:
Management of A/R and A/P Accounts
Computerized Accounting Applications
Departmental Administration / Record keeping
Which set of headings are the strongest for an Accounts Payable / Receivable Manager position?

Even though Roger's title was Accounting Assistant, he actually managed over 1,000 A/R and A/P accounts. Using skill headings
that market the true nature of Roger's job duties will generate him more interviews and higher salary offers. For more
examples, like this one and the ones discussed below, click on 60 Free Online Resume and Job Search Workshops at
ProvenResumes.com.

Tip 2 - Use Design That Grabs Attention
Employers make snap judgments when glancing at your resume. If they see unrelated job titles or skills the likelihood is very
high that they will make an immediate assumption that you are not qualified for the job you want. Adding to this problem is the
fact that employers don't have the time to read through each of your job descriptions to determine if you have the skills they
need.

You Must Do That For Them! The design of your resume must highlight the most important information about your work
experience, skills and education. At first glance this information forms the image that employers have of your skills and
abilities.

Tip 3 - Create Content That Sells
Resume design should get attention but it's really the content of your
resume, the descriptions you include of your skills and abilities, that
determine how many interviews you generate- -as well as the level of
salary offers you receive. Compare the before and after statements from
Roger's resume shown below: Before Resume:
Maintained records for accounts receivable and accounts payable accounts.
After Resume:
Managed over 1,000 accounts receivable and payable accounts working
directly with the Chief Financial Officer.
Which of these examples presents Roger as being more qualified, having
higher skills and worth a higher salary? As this example illustrates, our
image of Roger is changed and elevated when we read the after example.
For more examples of how to create powerful content click on 60 Free
Online Resume and Job Search Workshops.

Tip 4 - Quantify and Use Power Words
As Roger's after statement demonstrates, using numbers to describe your achievements and
responsibilities can greatly expand and elevate your image. Using numbers and quantifying creates vivid
images in our mind when we read them, whereas general statements like the before examples are easy
to skip over or forget. Typically the more specific you can be in describing your duties the better.

Another strategy that is extremely important in controlling the image that employers develop about
you--is to use Power Words or verbs that match the level of position you want. For example, Roger
wants to use the experience he's gained to move into a management position. To strengthen his image
he should use as many "management oriented" words as possible. Which example below do you think is
the strongest? Typical Verbs:
Gave work assignments to staff of entry level accounting clerks. Power Words:
Directed work flow, supervised and trained accounting staff performing posting to general ledger,
accounts receivable and payable accounts.

Tip 5 - Analyze Ads and Job Descriptions to Identify Key Words
Learning how to analyze the key words that employers provide in help wanted ads and job descriptions
is a key element in creating powerful resumes. For example, read the ad Roger found for an Accounts
Receivable Manager below and see how many key words, phrases, or skill descriptions that it includes.
Accounts Receivable Manager
Seeking experienced A/R Manager to oversee accounts, manage billing and collections, train accounting
and clerical staff, develop status reports for management and prepare monthly balance sheets. B.A.
Degree or A.A. Degree with minimum of 2 years experience required.

Even though this ad is small it contains 12-13 key words or phrases that should be addressed in
Roger's resume. Roger can also key words from an ad like this to create headings for his resume such
as: Key Word Skill Headings
Management of A/R Accounts
Billing and Collections
Supervision of Accounting and Administrative Staff
Balance Sheet and Management Status Reports
Tip 6 - Identify and Solve Employer's Hidden Needs
In addition to the skills or needs listed in the ad shown above, the employer will have many more needs
that Roger should identify and address in his resume and cover letter. For example, this employer will
need someone who can deal effectively with other departments, research accounting issues and records
to solve problems. To beat today's heavy competition for jobs, it's important that you identify and
anticipate the full range of needs each employer faces and show how you can solve those needs.
Tip 7 - Sell the Benefits of Your Skills
Most resumes provide a list of duties that each applicant has been responsible for-- without explaining
the benefit of those skills to employers. For example, a secretary's resume might state she can type
80 wpm and is extremely accurate. This statement lacks an explanation of how her typing speed and
accuracy benefit an employer's bottom line. The real benefit is that the employee can produce more
work and ultimately save the employer money. A better statement for this person's resume would be:
Selling The Benefits of Skills
· Achieved top production volume by maintaining high degree of accuracy with typing speed at 80 wpm.
· Cut labor expense over $6,000 annually by eliminating the need for part-time word processing staff.

Tip 8 - Create An Image That Matches The Salary You Want

As you write your resume, keep in mind the level of job and salary you want. Be sure to create an
image that presents you at the appropriate level. For example, language used in a resume for an $8 an
hour position is much different than the language used for a $16 an hour position. I recently met Lynn,
who had held a Health Insurance Claims Management position making $42,000 per year. She had
retrained for the accounting field and hadn't yet gained any "direct accounting experience" although
she had prepared monthly accounting reports as a Department Manager.

I was appalled when she shared the resume she had been counseled to create. It began with this
statement:
Seeking an entry level position in the accounting field.

Now what pay rate do you think this statement would motivate employers to offer Lynn? A much
better statement would be:
Seek an Accounting position utilizing my experience:

· Managing a department and accounting for up to $250,000 in monthly claims.
My goal is to help people either stay at their current salary level or move up-- not go backwards. As
you can see, the last statement greatly elevates Lynn's image and will be much more likely to generate
salary offers comparable to her last pay rate.

Tip 9 - Prioritize the Content of Your Resume

Another big mistake that job seekers make is to list very important data in the lower sections of their
job descriptions. As you compile statements for your resume, prioritize them by importance,
impressiveness and relevance to the job you want. Remember that a strong statement which uses
power words and quantifies will affect every statement under it. Read the two examples below. Which
one has the most impact? Un prioritized
Maintained records control, filing, office supply purchasing and equipment maintenance.
Managed front office functions to support the President, Vice President and staff of 20 Sales
Representatives.

Prioritized
Managed front office functions to support the President, Vice President and staff of 20 Sales
Representatives. Maintained records control, filing, office supply purchasing and equipment maintenance.

Tip 10 - Tweak and Target Your Resumes and Cover Letters
You will generate many more interviews by tweaking your resume and cover letter so that they address
the specific skills each employer requests. For example, Sally originally wanted a customer service
position, then found an ad for a Retail Management opening. How well qualified do the headings in the
left hand column present her for the Retail Management position? Do you think the headings in the
right hand column will generate more and better interviews for Retail Management positions? Customer
Service
Cash Accountability
Computer Skills Retail Management / Customer Service
Cash Accountability / Supervision of Retail Stations
Retail Accounting Applications

 **DM



Category Career, Other Articles by - CA. Dashrath Maheshwari 



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