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Engineer Your Resume To Stand Out From the Crowd!

Your resume is your first impression with a prospective employer. Resumes must highlight your accomplishments, illustrate your strengths and persuade employers to bring you in for an interview – all on one page. Larry Maier, president of Peerless Precision, a manufacturing plant, states that it takes no longer than 30 seconds to review a resume.

Glenn Shagena, the director of human resources at the Chrysler Group, says that they receive 10 to 50 resumes for every job posting. Both of these statements mean that it is crucial you engineer your resume to stand out from the rest if you wish to earn an interview. Below are strategies for crafting a resume that will stand out and give hiring managers exactly what they are looking for.

Strategies for Resume Success

These are time-honored strategies that will help you create a resume that informs hiring managers of exactly what they want to know – with no pointless information.

Craft A Job-Specific Resume – Perhaps you have a number of degrees, talents and qualifications that allow you to pursue a number of careers. Do not try to cram all of that information into one resume. Create multiple resumes for each of your specialties. Larry Maier stated that when he receives resumes from technical applicants, all he wants to see is highlighted technical training and relevant work experience – nothing more.

Use Direct Language – Be direct in every area of your resume. Your resume is your time to brag about yourself. There is no need to try to rely on implications or be modest. According to Peter Kistler, contributing writer for Brand Yourself, be very specific about your accomplishments. For example, instead of saying, “Responsible for making collection calls”, say, “Called customers who were late on payments and generated a 50 percent call-to-payment ratio.” Simply stating you were responsible for something does not say how successful you were at it.

Highlight Recent Accomplishments – John Challenger, executive at the consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, advises resume creators to focus on accomplishments and relevant work experience within the past 10 years. Do not treat every job you’ve held equally, and completely leave off irrelevant information.

The one exception to this rule is education – always detail formal education received. For example, if you are applying for a job in the public health industry, mention that you have completed public health masters programs. Additionally, if you received your degree online, explain that it was an online degree. To an employer, there is essentially little to no difference between an online degree and a traditional degree.

Edit, Edit, Edit! – Editing is the most important step in engineering your resume. The quickest route to losing a job prospect is to have spelling or grammar errors in your resume. Read your resume multiple times aloud to yourself. Run it through online proofreading tools. Kistler suggests sending your resume to two or more friends and having them proofread your resume. Additionally, ensure that you edit your resume down to a single page. It is fine if it goes beyond one page when initially writing it, but it must be refined to fit on a single page.

Use Proper File Names and Types – Now that your resume is ready to send, ensure that it is saved properly. According to Kistler, the preferred file extension is .PDF. Most word processors will allow you to save your document as a PDF. This file type saves all of your formatting and avoids aesthetic or functional issues that can arise from different versions of word processors. Lastly, the file name should be FIRSTNAME_LASTNAME_Resume.pdf. Imagine you are a hiring manager who received 50 emails each containing a resume. You save them in a special folder. If they are all named “resume” you may end up deleting them, accidentally (or on purpose). Having a personal file name helps the hiring manager keep them organized – something they will appreciate.

Engineer Your Resume to Meet Success

The above strategies can be successfully employed to tailor a stellar resume that helps you stand out from the crowd. Even though many of these tips and strategies have been around for a while, hiring managers still appreciate them. You may be surprised how many applicants employ distasteful and time-wasting practices. These strategies are designed with the hiring manager in mind and assure them that you are a professional that is worthy of their time.

William Miller is a masters-level student on in an online human services degree program who also works as a consultant when he’s not busy studying or writing papers.

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  1. Kendrick
    October 23, 2012 at 11:36 pm | #1

    As someone just entering the job market again after going back to school, putting together a solid resume has been trying (to say the least).

    Like this

  2. January 22, 2013 at 6:09 pm | #2

    Create your resume at your best because it will serve as your first impression to your possible employer.

    Like this

  1. October 29, 2012 at 9:16 pm | #1
  2. November 10, 2012 at 1:48 am | #2
  3. June 3, 2013 at 5:40 am | #3

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