Your resume is your personal portfolio, a written representative of your skills and attributes that must communicate effectively to a potential employer. It should clearly demonstrate your qualifications and show the employer why and how it will benefit them to hire you.
Creating a resume such as this requires some thought and effort on your part, but will be easier for you if you keep in mind these essentials of resume writing.
Use active language
Your resume should be filled with active language that communicates your enthusiasm and your accomplishments to a potential employer. When you use words that show strong action on your part, the employer gains a better understanding of your strengths and abilities.
The most effective resumes include the job seekers accomplishments as well as the results they achieved. This helps a potential employer better understand what action was taken, what result occurred, and what skill or attribute was used. The employer then can draw inferences about how well the job seeker's skills and attributes fit with the needs of the job posting.
Here are two examples of resume statements that show both action and results:
Directed integration planning for merging two engineering departments, resulting in favorable employee morale and zero missed deadlines during the transition period.
Make the screener's job easy
When a potential employer solicits resumes for a job posting, it is not unusual for the human resources department to receive up to several hundred resume responses. Someone has to screen all of those documents, and the screener will literally not have time to read each one in depth and in detail. Instead, he or she will scan each resume looking for the key requirements and minimum qualifications that determine whether the resume is kept for further review or set aside and immediately removed from contention.
Help your resume be noticed by making the resume screener's job easier. Emphasize your key qualifications using bold type, italic type, or bullet points. Use wide margins, generous spacing between sections, a font style that is easy on the eyes, and a font size that is no smaller than 11 or 12 points. Avoid trendy paper colors or textures, and instead opt for a high quality white paper that will make the print easier to read.
Proofread and eliminate errors
The quickest way to eliminate your resume from consideration is to send it to the potential employer with spelling errors and/or grammar errors in the content. Use a good spell check and grammar check program to catch obvious errors, but do not depend solely on this software to catch mistakes.
Proofread the document carefully, using the standard proofreading technique of reading it backwards one word at a time. Ask several trusted friends or peers to read it, too, because often a person who has not spent a great deal of time working on a document will catch errors and problems that you might miss.