Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The 50-Yard Resume Dash: How Fast Do You Need Your Resume?

By Carla Vaughan

Are you in a hurry to zip off your qualifications to a prospective employer? If you already have a resume, it may need a little tweaking. If you are changing careers, your resume might need a major overhaul. What if you not have time to revamp the whole thing?

There are times when a friend lets you know about a potential job opening or a neighbor tells you about a job fair in your chosen field and you simply don't have time to revise your resume 5 times before feeling comfortable enough to print off a copy or two.

If nothing else, take a look at the tips below to ensure your resume is able to pass the employer's first screening. If you have more time, give your resume a fresh look altogether by using a different format or by adding a summary of qualifications at the top of the page.

Use these quick tips to polish your layout:

  1. White space – make sure there is enough white space so that the reader's eyes can focus on what really matters – those keywords
  2. Choose a format that highlights your achievements the best
  3. Use tabs to keep your resume aligned perfectly
  4. Do not use bullets for every achievement, responsibility or task

Why is the layout so important? Human Resource personnel read so many resumes that they get weary. If your resume is packed with words and offers little in the way of white space, it will not get fully read. In fact, it may barely get scanned. HR people just don't have time for a "loaded" resume.

Here are some guidelines for your content:

  1. Be concise – state what you need to, be brief, pack a punch, then hush.
  2. Upgrade your words using powerful action verbs in your
  3. Proofread again and again
  4. Eliminate slang, jargon, acronyms and unrelated personal information

Why is the content so important? Ok, if you really have to ask yourself that, you're in trouble. Seriously, though, making sure the content flows well, is packed with energy and shows proof of your accomplishments, an employer will take more time to read it through.

Even if you are only taking a short period of time to update your resume, make the most of the time you have and present yourself in the best possible way. Your resume has to be outstanding, or it will not help you get off to a good start with a prospective employer.

Whether you are attempting a quick fix or a fully revamped resume, make it awesome. Second best in the job search means you don't have a job.

Carla Vaughan, Owner/Webmaster Professional-Resume-Example.com

Carla is the owner of Professional-Resume-Example.com, a site devoted to assisting candidates in the job-search process. She holds a B.S. in Business from Southern Illinois University and has authored several books.

For more information about writing resumes, follow this link to Writing a Resume

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