Thursday, September 22, 2011

Update Your Resume

So September is "International Update Your Resume Month." Who knew?

Not surprisingly, this observance originated from a resume company, Career Directors International in Melbourne, Fla.

But okay, let's go with it. Everyone should have a valid resume on file in case disaster strikes or opportunity presents itself, right?

After the jump, I'll list some tips from author and career coach Ford R. Myers for making your resume stand out from the crowd:

1. BE BRIEF: Less is Always MoreMyers specifically points out that of the main sections of a resume - Career Summary, Professional Experience, Education, etc. - the Summary section is where brevity counts the most.
The 'Summary' is a brief statement of who you are, where you're 'coming from,' and what skills and expertise you have to contribute to an organization. To grab the reader's attention, you'll need five or six targeted lines oriented toward the benefits and contributions you offer as a professional," states Myers.
2. BE SPECIFIC: Although individuals should be as specific as possible throughout the entire resume, this tip should be exercised most in the "Professional Experience" section.
"The 'Professional Experience' section is where your past jobs, roles, responsibilities, and accomplishments are listed. It's also where most employers and recruiters focus 90% of their attention. The information you present here, and how you present it, can decide the fate of your candidacy within about 10 seconds of scanning time. Resumes that get noticed focus on specific results. Whenever possible, quantify your results, including retention rates, sales, profit, performance and effectiveness by using percentages, dollars and hard numbers," explains Myers.
3. BE ACTIVE: Myers urges resume writers to use strong action words at the beginning of every sentence. "Words such as 'direct,' 'launch,' 'initiate,' 'devise' and 'lead' have a lot more impact than a passive phrase like 'was responsible for,'" states Myers.
4. BE SELECTIVE: Focus on information that is truly relevant to your career goal and edit out the rest. "There is no need to focus on volunteer work or temporary positions if they are not relevant to the career you're looking for, or if they're in your distant past," says Myers.
5. BE HONEST: Myers warns job seekers to never lie on a resume. "If you lie you will always lose in the long run," he says.
"If you find that your resume isn't getting the results you want, change it! Your resume is a 'living document' that will be edited and updated through the course of your job search and your entire career," adds Myers.

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