I’ve reviewed thousands of resumes. Two people can have the same background and skills. One resume can appear plain, boring, or overwhelming while another resume is easy to read and keywords/accomplishments will jump out to the reader. With just a few tweaks you can create a resume that will get noticed the first time.
- Simplify your objective: Keep it concise and accurate to your profession
- Use accomplishments instead of responsibilities. People who read resumes want to know what you’ve done and you only have a few seconds to capture their attention. Use bullet points for accomplishments and quantify them whenever possible. For example:
- Increased patient volume over the previous 12 months by 15% resulting in $450,000 additional profit
- Improved patient satisfaction from 82% to 95% in one year
- Communication skills start here: Hiring managers want to hire people with excellent communication skills. Check grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Spell checkers don’t catch everything so be sure to have someone else proofread your resume. Previous jobs should be written in past tense and current jobs are in the present.
- Condense your resume: A two page resume is preferred by many hiring managers. Condense your resume if needed. A CV (curriculum vitae) can be lengthier and more appropriate for some professions. Microsoft Word margins are set wide by default. You can decrease your margin as narrow as .60 on all sides and still have a nice looking document. You can also decrease your font size. A font of Ariel 11 or even as low as Ariel 10 is generally a safe bet.
- Use action keywords: Electronic resume scanners are programmed to look for key terms in your resume. Without them, your resume could be discarded. Action words like championed, developed, facilitated, implemented, launched, and spearheaded will help your resume stand out. I also recommend you read the job posting closely. The verbs they are looking for will usually be included in the job posting.
Bonus tip #1: Be sure to list dates of employment and city and state for all your past employers
Bonus tip #2: For executive level positions employers want to hire people with a stable career history. If at a quick glance your resume appears to show that you’ve changed companies frequently this will lessen your chance of being seriously considered for a permanent position with top companies.
Be truthful and accurate when modifying your resume. Making just a few changes can drastically improve your resume and overall presentation to employers.