Four Resume Tips from Career Pros

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: June 12, 2008 - 10:42 AM

What if you could talk to four hiring professionals and ask them what they REALLY wanted to see in your resume?

Do you think that might give you an advantage in your job search?

Well, that's just what I did for this week's column.

I spoke to recruiters and career experts from across America and convinced them to share their best advice with you.

So, without further ado, here are four tips from career experts to help you write a better resume – and get hired!

1. Research the company and customize your resume

In this job market, too many candidates are chasing too few openings. That means you must differentiate yourself. And a great way to do that is to customize every resume, to clearly target the positions you apply for.

"I advise all candidates to send out no generic resumes. Make sure you include keywords from the job postings online or from the newspaper – this can grab employers' attention and keep them reading," says Felix Lin, a recruiting professional at Los Angeles-based Marclin Group (www.marclingroup.com).

So carefully match your resume to job postings, to make sure your resume hits all the hot buttons in every ad you respond to.

In addition, research target companies using www.google.com, www.hoovers.com and your network of contacts. The more you know, the better you can tailor your resume to appeal to hiring managers.

"You want to know what kind of management style will be a good fit at your target employer. If you have contacts there, find out what happened to the person you'll be hired to replace. Were they fired, promoted, what? Use any advantage you can get – you have to research companies like there's no tomorrow," says Lin.

2. Showcase your achievements

When writing your resume, shoot off your big guns early. Because if you start off slow, employers may never finish reading.

"Top career accomplishments and awards should be at the top of page one for impact, not buried on page two," says Ron McManmon, a former recruiter and currently Executive VP of Bend, Oregon-based Careeradex, Inc. (www.careeradex.com).

For best results, mention at least 2-3 of your top achievements within the top third of page one - this is the most valuable real estate in your resume.

You can include your achievements in a Profile or Qualifications Summary section, with 4 or 5 bulleted paragraphs, each one or two lines long. Bullets make for easy reading and allow you to make your best points quickly.

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