Resume Writing Tips

One of the most important aspects of conducting a productive and fruitful job search is to create a resume that will make a great first impression and land you the job interview.  Most employers spend no more than 20 seconds looking at a resume so it needs to be concise and easily readable.  Too much information will get it tossed since recruiters have so many potential candidates to sift through in this competitive job market.

Branding is a key issue on your resume which can be accomplished by using a title at the top which describes what you do and can bring to the table.  Some examples are “Accomplished Business Analyst” or “Customer Service Professional.” Next comes experience which is always the most recent first going back no more than 15 years.  Keep the dates in years form such as 2006-2009 and leave out the months.  Under the company name, a brief description of the organization will be helpful, especially if the company is not a household name.  Acme Solutions for instance would not mean anything to a potential recruiter so by describing their business in one sentence, you are able to establish a connection in the mind of the resume reviewer.

When listing your accomplishments at each place of work, use the model of  “action” and “result” to describe each.  If you just list the tasks you performed, it sounds more like a job description than an actual discussion of your performance.  For instance, you could say that you implemented a new phone system that cut customer hold time by 50% versus stating that you oversaw the installation of a new phone system.  At the bottom of this article are some great Action / Result power words that you can incorporate into your resume.

After you are finished with your work history, you can move on to a Technical Skills section.  This is where you can list the various computer systems you have used throughout your career.  Begin with “Operating Systems”.  This would include things such as Windows 7, NT, AS400 to mention a few.  Then list the “Software” you have used such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, Word, Outlook, CRM, Lotus Notes….You get the idea.

The last section can be your “Education” section.  Only mention highschool if you are not a college graduate.  Also include any work sponsored training workshops you have attended.  It is not necessary to include dates unless it is within 5 years.  Otherwise it can tend to make you look dated.

Finally, do not conclude your resume with the statement that “References are available upon request”. That is a no-brainer that they would be and it just makes you look silly.

Action and Result word reference:

Administered Organized Administered Performed Arranged Installed
Analyzed Planned Advised Persuaded Assembled Introduced
Arranged Presented Assisted Presented Balanced Invented
Assembled Processed Coached Produced Bargained Made
Assessed Promoted Communicated Protected Built Modernized
Authored Programmed Conducted Provided Centralized Opened
Balanced Proved Consulted Reconciled Conceived Operated
Budgeted Provided Counseled Recruited Conserved Organized
Calculated Publicized Decided Reduced Consolidated Originated
Co-authored Published Delegated Represented Constructed Pioneered
Compiled Read Demonstrated Resolved Converted Presented
Completed Recorded Determined Restructured Created Produced
Composed Reconciled Directed Scheduled Cut costs Purchase
Computed Refined Eliminated Served Demonstrated Reconstructed
Condensed Reorganized Enforced Shared Designed Redesigned
Converted Reported Established Showed Determined Reduced
Coordinated Researched Expedited Staffed Developed Repaired
Corrected Revised Facilitated Supervised Devised Restructured
Defined Setup Guided Taught Eliminated Shaped
Designed Simplified Headed Tended Established Strengthened
Determined Sorted Hired Tested Expanded Tended
Developed Standardized Initiated Trained Fabricated Tested
Edited Streamlined Instructed Traveled Formed Upgraded
Evaluated Systematized Learned Unified Founded
Formulated Synthesized Led Generated
Identified Tracked Managed Guided
Integrated Updated Motivated Handled
Interpreted Verified Negotiated Improved
Marketed Wrote Operated Innovated
Modified Organized Inspected

Enhanced Profitability Reduced Turnover
Expanded Product Line Improved Customer Relations
Improved Accuracy Increase Customer Satisfaction
Improved Corporate Image Improved Methods
Improved Morale Improved Training
Increased Awareness Automated Systems
Increased Earnings Increased Return on Investment
Increased Inventory Turns Designed Equipment
Increased Productivity Conceived New Products
Increased Sales Reduced Capital Investment
Minimized Liability Reduced Errors
Raised Efficiencies Eliminated Unnecessary Procedures
Reduced A/R Days Out Enhanced Operations
Reduced Costs Improved Quality
Reduced Energy Requirement Upgraded Plans
Reduced Rejects Developed New Products
Saved Time Reduced Downtime
Shortened Lead Time Ensured Safety

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