Resume Preparation: 10 tips to get your resume profile read

You spend hours perfecting your resume, but how can you ensure that all that work culminates in your potential employer thoroughly reading it? Here is a good starting list of ten tips to get your resume read and not casually thrown in the garbage.

1.Make it believable.

If someone is reading your resume and they see something that seems to be out of place, they are going to think you are not credible. If for some reason you went from working tables at the local diner to managing a team of 100 at a major corporation you are going to need to explain that. It would be best to put this in your cover letter. The last thing you want is someone to question you, because you will not get a call back or the job. Why would an employer call back a question mark when they have other solid applicants? Be one of the latter.

2.Add a way for someone to find more information about you.

This is where comes into play. You want a way for employers, once they are interested in you, to be able to find out more about you. A website is a great tool for that. Video resumes were never a good fit for this market because they require unusual equipment and they take a lot of time. A website will take an employer two minutes to find and browse through. Besides, 80% of employers are already searching for you on Google before the interview.

3.Stay within the norm.

You will see people out there that are pushing different types of resumes and ways to really jazz up the traditional format. This can be a great thing, but only to an extent. The truth of the matter is that when a resume comes across an employer’s desk, they want to be able to scan through it and not have to spend an extensive amount of time to get the gist of it. Hopefully the main points that they see in their quick scan will land you a more in-depth scan later on, but if they cannot get the information they are looking for immediately, they are not going to call you in to find it. Add a little flare here and there, but be aware that a resume for an accounting position and one for a graphic design artist should look different. One is not better or worse, but they definitely need to fit the market they are applying for.

4.Make it interesting.

If you let out a yawn or two as you describe your last job, so will the potential employer. You want to put information on your resume that reflects your work ethic, performance and ability to complete jobs assigned to you.

5.Use proper grammar and spelling.

There is no excuse for a spelling mistake on your resume. Multiple people should have read it and proofread it before it gets to your potential employer’s hands. This goes along with the make-it-believable rule above. If an employer can easily see a spelling mistake they are not going to think that you are going to represent their company well. There is nothing worse than an important document going out with spelling mistakes – don’t do it.

6.Put the most important information at the top of the page.

Your reader is going to start at the top of the page and work down. You want them to hit your biggest accomplishments first. Remember, first impressions mean a lot and the sooner you get them to thinking you’re are a good candidate, the better, because it is much easier to maintain that mentality than to try to establish it in a non believer.

7.Customize it.

The same resume is not going to work with all companies. Successful job seekers have a couple of resumes available and ready to go should any opportunity arise. Each one should highlight different types of work, skills, and experiences that they have amassed in the past.

8.Be remarkable.

Just cruising through the day and not applying yourself is not going to help you when you are applying for your dream job. You need to be active in the community, and you need to be doing notable things at your work place. This increases the chances that you will be hired quickly and be viewed as a valuable addition to the company. No matter what the market is, there are ways to stand out and do outstanding work.

9.Keep it to one page.

A large number of people feel the urge to push their resume to two or more pages. If you are amazing, then let your accomplishments speak for themselves. There are certain industries, such as academia, where it is more acceptable to have longer resumes, and you will know if you are in one of these. But for the majority of career fields, one page is the only way to go. Don’t make the font so small they can’t read it either – that won’t help your cause.

10.Make it personal.

They don’t want to read about an android, they want to read about a human. If you have other activities that round you out as a person, then include them. They can work in your favor and be conversation starters during the interview and, if the person reading the resume can connect with you over one of these topics, you are much more likely to get hired.

Next: The Key Components of a Resume

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    All good apart from 3:
    Note to graphic designers.

    Don’t add “flare” anywhere. It’s annoying.
    As a senior designer at a graphic design agency, I don’t want to see anyone’s “talents” all over their resume, I want to see it in their work.

    “Jazzing up” your resume suggests two things, that you’re covering up it’s lack of content, and that you’re trying too hard.


  • Pete Kistler

    Duncan, excellent point.

    If the word “flare” brings to mind empty flashiness, than avoid it at all costs. (Clip-art in PowerPoint presentations, anyone?).

    However, if there are subtle visual elements that will strengthen the overall organization of your resume or help emphasize your main points in a crystal clear way, then these elements most likely will help make your resume stand out from the others. But Duncan is absolutely right – do not go over the top here. As point #3 states, stay within the norm so that employers can immediately and effortlessly find what they’re looking for.

    Thanks for the feedback!

    – Pete

  • Matt

    These are great suggestions all around. However, the use of the term “jist” in item #3 directly contradicts item #5. Believe you meant to use the word “gist.” 🙂

  • Pete Jones

    You’re right on. Couldn’t have said it better myself. -Pete

  • The Baldchemist

    Successful job seekers? Bit of an oxymoron isn’t it?
    But, the last thing we want is a yes man or woman.
    We like people who create friendly fights with differing, fresh opinion. It leads to a higher resolution of conflict.
    Don’t be afraid. But make sure you know what you are talking about. A bullshit resume written by someone else will easily be revealed when you get to talk about yourself.
    Good luck. Keep strong but not stoic. The Baldchemist

  • Make Money Online

    Superb tips! Resumes need to be top notch right now in this bad economy.