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Best and Winning Resume Tips for Job Seekers

Updated on February 4, 2011


Writing a resume for your dream job? I will teach you how to make your resume winning and impressive; if you have 15 minutes of time, read this entire article right away!

Resume is probably the only exception to the ‘No self-promotion’ rule online. Most of the websites hate self-promotion but online job boards encourage the self promotional voice with which a perfect resume speaks...

Resume is all about advertising yourself. It is your ultimate marketing tool.. Out of the hundreds of resumes that an employer chooses to look at, only very few resumes win the contest and get short listed for a job requirement. This article might be the only one that you might have to read to write a winning resume..

An example of a good resume, showing the first page.. Double click to view the full image
An example of a good resume, showing the first page.. Double click to view the full image | Source

The Contents of a Resume


A winning resume should have all of the following details:

Title, name and contact details, objective, Key skills, Professional experience and Educational qualification


Title:

Most people ignore the title, because they always wonder ‘What should I write as the title of my resume’..

It just says who you are, professionally… Of course, your resume title can’t be ‘Fun loving young girl living in Kansas’.

A resume of a Microsoft Sharepoint developer can have the title as ‘Senior Sharepoint developer’. This resume is easy to recognize because at a glance it says something essential about the candidate.


Name and contact details:

You know what they are and they are something that you can never skip in a resume.

However, if you prefer the employer to contact you through the job board and not directly until you have reviewed the job description, then you can skip the contact details alone. But always make sure that there is an easy way in your resume for an employer to contact you!


Objective:

Some people argue that you can’t skip the objective and some people say that the objective is not necessary if you are targeting a specific job.. Which one is right?

First of all, what exactly is a resume objective? (Probably, the only reason why you didn’t write an objective is that you didn’t know what it was)

A resume objective is a short description of your career goals. Is it necessary? Well, In some cases..

Your resume is all about your career, and you can’t exclude your career goals in your resume unless your goals are clearly showing in your professional experience. While some employers don’t give much importance to the objective part, a lot of employers do! This is true when you are a fresher, changing your career or trying to get a job after a long gap in your career.

Here is an example of a good career objective:

To obtain a position as a Java developer in a challenging environment that utilizes team work for researching, learning and developing server side Java applications

Don’t make the objective long; limit it to two to three sentences.


Key skills:

Many resume writing guides skip the part about key skills or push it down below the professional experience. In my experience of working with many recruiters, I know how employers struggle to find information in the resumes where key skills are omitted or misplaced.

A job description always has a list of mandatory skills. The employers check if this part of the job description matches the key skills in the resume. While your professional experience could be too long to read, this key skills part decides if an employer or a recruiter would need to continue reading the resume or not.

Key skill section should list the skills that you possess, which are relevant to the type of jobs that you are applying.

For example, if you are applying for a data entry job, you need to be sure to mention your typing speed here.

Key skills for an IT job should be categorized appropriately. Here is an example of a key skills section from a resume of a database developer:


TECHNICAL SKILLS

Operating Systems: Windows 98/NT/2000/XP/Vista, UNIX

Databases: MS SQL Server 2005/2000/7.0, Oracle 8i, MS Access

Service Tools: DTS (Data transformation services), SSIS

Database Tools: SQL Profiler, SQL Query Analyzer, Index Analyzer, Backup Server, Replication server

Data Modeling: MS Visio.

Development skills: Transact SQL (T-SQL), PL/SQL

Languages: C#, C++, HTML, VB 6.0, ASP.NET


Professional experience

Once a recruiter finds that the key skills match the mandatory skills required by an open position, the next thing she would be interested in is your professional experience.

Your past reflects the future. What you have done in the past tells a recruiter what you can do in the future. You have to explain what exactly you did using your key skills in your previous jobs.

It is mandatory to list your experience in a reverse chronological order, as this is the most preferred format. Start with your most recent work experience and go back, one by one.

Mention the name of the company and the duration (for example, March 2008 – April 2009) in bold letters, and then write a detailed description of the job in a bulleted list. Make sure you have proper spacing between the jobs.

If you have changed jobs very often, it is going to look bad in your resume. Be prepared to explain the reasons at the time of the interview.


Educational qualifications

Here is where you list the name of your high school and the year you passed out, your college degree, name of the college and the year you graduated and other workshops and certifications that you completed.

Certifications look good in your resume. Many technical jobs prefer certifications. So, if you have certifications, make sure that they are clearly listed and highlighted in your resume.

This section is very important for freshers since they don’t have any work experience.


The Three Things that Make your Resume to Stand out


We looked at the content of a good resume. Now, I will tell you how to make your resume to be considered for a job opening.

There are three things that make your resume to impress the employers

1) Being a good match for the job opening

2) Having the important information highlighted

3) Using an easy to read design

Let us look at the requirement #1 first! I would like you to watch the following video from Corp-corp.com that explains this concept better.


1) Being a good match for the job opening

If you had watched the video, you won’t require much explanation. However, I would like to re-emphasize the facts.

If you ask a recruiter about the challenges in his daily job, he will tell you that the main challenge is to find the resume that matches the job requirement.

Write a targeted resume and make sure that it explains why you are a good candidate for the job.

2) Having the important information highlighted

A recruiter hardly spends more than 30 seconds to go through a resume. She reads the title, has a look at the key skills and quickly skims through the professional experience. Unless you don’t have the important information highlighted, a recruiter will likely miss them.

Compare your resume with a photograph. You take a picture of a lonely bird sitting in a tree’s branch in a thick forest. If it is a good photograph, it should immediately draw the viewer’s attention to the bird.

Make the important words bold and make the essential information to stand out by using proper spacing. Don’t dilute your resume with irrelevant information. Put things in the right order

3) Using an easy to read design

If I am selling a product in a web page, I will get more conversions when the design is good and friendly.

You are doing exactly the same thing in your resume; You are selling yourself! Use your common sense when selecting the font, font size, colors, tables, borders, margins, alignment etc.

An employer will bend his rules and will spend more time on your resume, because it looks good and easy to read.

Using Effective Keywords and Action Verbs


Many employers use screening software and applicant tracking systems to filter resumes. Also, online job boards have a search agent which allows recruiters to enter a keyword and search for it.

Make sure your resume includes the related keywords and use powerful action verbs. Avoid passive tense.

Below is a list of powerful action words that you can use in your resume

accelerated
corrected
increased
reconciled
accomplished
counseled
influenced
recorded
achieved
created
initiated
recruited
acted
cut
inspected
rectified
acted as liaison
dealt
installed
reduced
adapted
defined
instituted
regulated
adjusted
delegated
instructed
rehearsed
administered
delivered
interpreted
reinforced
advised
demonstrated
interviewed
reported
aided
designed
introduced
researched
allocated
determined
invented
reshaped
amended
developed
investigated
restored
amplified
devised
issued
resulted
analyzed
devoted
launched
revamped
answered
diagrammed
lectured
reviewed
applied
directed
led
revised
appointed
displayed
listed
scheduled
approved
distributed
maintained
selected
arbitrated
documented
managed
served
arranged
drafted
mediated
serviced
assisted
edited
moderated
set up
assumed
effected
modified
simplified
attained
elected
molded
sold
audited
eliminated
monitored
solved
augmented
employed
motivated
specialized
awarded
encouraged
negotiated
started
began
enlarged
observed
stimulated
broadened
enlisted
offered
streamlined
brought
established
opened
strengthened
built
estimated
operated
structured
calculated
evaluated
organized
studied
catalogued
examined
oriented
substituted
chaired
executed
originated
suggested
collected
expanded
overhauled
summarized
commented
expedited
participated
superseded
communicated
extended
performed
supervised
compared
fabricated
persuaded
supported
compiled
facilitated
pinpointed
systematized
completed
focused
planned
taught
computed
forecast
prepared
terminated
conceived
formalized
presented
tested
conceptualized
formulated
preserved
traces
condensed
fortified
presided
trained
conducted
founded
processed
transferred
consolidated
gathered
produced
translated
constructed
generated
programmed
traveled
consulted
governed
promoted
trimmed
contracted
guided
proposed
tutored
contributed
handled
proved
unified
contrived
harmonized
provided
updated
controlled
headed
published
used
convinced
implemented
purchased
utilized
cooperated
improved
received
volunteered
coordinated
incorporated
recommended
widened
 
 
 
worked
 
 
 
wrote

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    • bowlerhat profile image

      bowlerhat 6 years ago from Birmingham, UK

      It's great to see all of these power words to use on a CV. Recruiters like lively, verb-filled resumes so it's a useful thing to have a list like that to inspire people.

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