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Ten Ways to Create a Killer Resume!

Hiring managers invest a brief amount of time looking at a resume before deciding whether to pass on a job candidate or add them to their potential hire list. Employers typically spend less than ten seconds per resume, so you want to make sure they quickly see the connection between your experience and skills and their open position.

 

Below is a list of things to use as a guide when writing your resume.

 

  1. Use an easy-to-read format professional font for the body of your resume such as Arial (as in this document), Calibri, or Georgia at a 10–12 point font size. Your name should be 20-24 point, and the headings and subheadings 14 point. One of the most important elements of a resume is easy readability. Be sure to have enough “white space” on the document or it looks too busy. Avoid an overwhelming amount of text or an underwhelming amount of empty space. And never use photos or graphics unless you are applying for a graphic artist position.

 

  1. Keep your resume to one page. Only feature the most important and relevant information first and remove irrelevant or outdated information, such as jobs you held 15+ years ago. Remember, your resume isn’t your entire employment history, or a job application. It’s a teaser to get you noticed and to secure an interview. If a past previous role isn’t related to the job you’re currently seeking, don’t include it on your resume or only include relevant aspects.

 

  1. It may seem obvious, but be sure to include your contact information at the top of your resume. Include your phone number(s), email address (make sure it’s not unprofessional), physical location (just your city/state; not your street address, unless you are relocating, then do include it here), and your website address (if applicable).

 

  1. Provide a brief professional job summary that introduces yourself to the potential employer. The headline should be one sentence, and the summary should be only two to three sentences. The summary might include your pertinent experience, education, and most important skills. You may also state your career goals here.

 

Whenever possible, use action verbs to highlight your skills, experience, and accomplishments. Action words are specific, clarify your accomplishments, and project a confident tone to your resume. See Appendix One for Action Verb samples. Here are a couple of examples:

 

Headline: Customer success professional with 3+ years experience delighting clients in the retail industry.


Summary: Experienced in resolving client concerns via chat, email, and phone; routinely recognized by management and peers for assertive and enthusiastic spirit. Excited to continue my career in eCommerce.

 

Headline: Certified medical assistant with 2+ years in direct patient care.


Summary: Extensive experience in charting, scheduling, and delivering best-in-class customer service. Vast knowledge of clinical procedures and medical terminology. Looking for new opportunities in private practice.

 

  1. Next, identify the skills and qualities an employer requires. In their job description, take note of the words and phrases they use to describe an ideal candidate and write down those that apply to you.

 

In a job posting, watch for the following employer requirements:

  • Computer proficiency
  • Leadership experience
  • Communication skills
  • Organizational know-how
  • People skills
  • Collaboration talent
  • Problem-solving abilities

 

When tailoring your resume, include those keywords in your resume summary, skills, and professional experience sections. Employers will indicate the skill sets they are looking for in their job descriptions. To catch the attention of a hiring manager, you must highlight how your skills relate to the job.

 

  1. Write the skills section of your resume. Keep in mind, the skills section is the most important part of your resume which is why it must be near the top.

 

In this skills section, you want to list the professional skills you have that make you qualified for the job you’re applying for. Again, look closely at the posting, and if you have the required skills, be sure to list them.

 

In general, there are two types of skills: soft skills and hard skills. Hard skills will depend on the industry or job type while soft skills tend to be more universal. Employers today are looking for both hard and soft skills for a job.

 

Soft skills include things like interpersonal communication, organization, adaptability, customer service, attention to detail, collaboration, decision-making, leadership, creativity, multitasking, problem-solving, self-motivation, time management, or strong work ethic.

 

Hard skills are more often tied to specific tools, software, or knowledge. Hard skills include things like speaking a foreign language, accounting, bookkeeping, typing skills, writing, editing, data analysis, process automation, product design, or project management.

 

You can list your skills in a single paragraph with each skill separated by a comma. Start with the skills you’re most proficient in.

 

If you don’t meet the exact requirements, list your related or similar skills. And if you’ve never worked in that position or industry before, don’t expect the employer to figure out how you fit. Show the manager how you’re the right person by demonstrating how your credentials, experience, and skills are transferable. Give a clear description of how you meet the job posting requirements.

 

  1. The next section is your work experience including all the titles of your previous position(s), name of your employer(s), time you held the position, basic duties, accomplishments, special achievements or awards, and significant contributions. Don’t be shy. Be proud.

 

You want to only include the details of your past work that are especially relevant to the work you want to do next. Include more details about your most recent jobs and fewer details from the roles you held earlier in your career. Employers are most likely to be interested in your current accomplishments.

 

Use bullet points rather than paragraphs to organize your work experience.

 

Once again, use strong action verbs to describe your accomplishments rather than just a task. Employers are interested in what you’ve achieved, not just what you’ve done.

 

Example:

Task: Greeted customers


Accomplishment: Provided friendly and helpful service by greeting customers.

 

  1. Fill employment gaps with other experiences such as education, contract work, volunteer work, or freelance employment if possible. For example, if you worked on personal projects or as a freelancer, you could put “Self-employed” where you would otherwise list an employer. Employment gaps are a red flag to potential employers.

 

  1. Your education should be listed at the end of your resume. Exceptions to this may be if you’re applying for a job that requires specific degrees or certifications (as in the healthcare industry, for example).

 

  1. The final step is to proofread your resume. After taking the time to write an incredible resume, you don’t want typos and spelling mistakes. The first typo may get you rejected.

 

NOTE: Do not include your salary history or references on a resume.

 

 

 

Appendix One – Action Verbs

 

To showcase accomplishments:

Achieved

Amplified

Attained

Capitalized

Chaired

Consolidated

Deciphered

Decreased

Discerned

Drove

Enacted

Endeavored

Established

Exceeded

Founded

Pioneered

Outperformed

Overhauled

Sharpened

Shattered

Sparked

Spearheaded

Steered

Stimulated

Streamlined

Strengthened

Supervised

Surpassed

 

To explain responsibilities:

Accelerated

Accomplished

Analyzed

Assembled

Built

Charted

Created

Constructed

Coordinated

Delivered

Developed

Executed

Expanded

Facilitated

Finalized

Forged

Guided

Handled

Headed

Improved

Increased

Initiated

Implemented

Instituted

Operated

Organized

Produced

Reached

Simplified

Volunteered

 

To express communication skills:

Briefed

Campaigned

Collaborated

Composed

Conveyed

Convinced

Documented

Enlivened

Instructed

Performed

Presented

Promoted

Spoke

Trained

 

For creative experience:

Authored

Brainstormed

Communicated

Conceptualized

Customized

Derived

Designed

Drafted

Edited

Illustrated

Imagined

Influenced

Inspired

Modeled

Proofread

Published

Redesigned

Researched

Strategized

Storyboarded

Translated

Transformed

Visualized

Wrote

 

For sales experience:

Acquired

Boosted

Captured

Conserved

Converted

Earned

Gained

Generated

Maximized

Negotiated

Outpaced

Won

Yielded

 

For leadership and management:

Advised

Aligned

Arranged

Augmented

Centralized

Championed

Cultivated

Directed

Empowered

Enabled

Endorsed

Enforced

Ensured

Formalized

Formed

Fostered

Furthered

Hired

Identified

Implemented

Integrated

Leveraged

Mentored

Merged

Motivated

Orchestrated

Optimized

Predicted

Reconciled

Reduced

Refocused

Renovated

Reorganized

Resolved

Restructured

Revitalized

Shaped

Supervised

Sustained

Trained

 

For experience with finance:

Audited

Calculated

Classified

Collected

Evaluated

Dispensed

Investigated

Lowered

Maintained

Minimized

Recognized

Secured

 

For technical experience:

Advanced

Architected

Automated

Coded

Deployed

Detected

Devised

Diagnosed

Discovered

Engineered

Enhanced

Expedited

Formulated

Installed

Launched

Modified

Networked

Planned

Programmed

Remodeled

Rewrote

Refined

Tested

Troubleshoot

Updated

Upgraded

 

NOTE: This “action word” list was first published by: https://resumegenius.com/blog/resume-help/action-verbs/

 

 

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Kurt Bubna

Kurt W. Bubna has published seven books, is an internationally recognized blogger, conference and retreat speaker, as well as an experienced life and leadership coach. Bubna has over forty years of experience working with individuals, teams, and a wide variety of business and non-profit organizations.