By Dawn Warnaar
September 15, 2007
Change your font. Most resumes use the Times New Roman or Arial font. An easy way to make your resume stand out is by trying different fonts that are still professional. Tahoma, Verdana or Century Gothic are good alternative fonts.
Fix the flaws. Check and double-check for typos, spelling and grammar errors. Either use periods or don’t—pick one way and go with it throughout the entire resume.
Don’t include a picture. Trust me, just don’t! Some employers won’t even consider a resume with a picture due to Equal Opportunity and discrimination laws.
Specific is terrific. General statements like “Implemented new programs to cut costs” are boring to read. Get specific to highlight your accomplishments by rephrasing the statement to read: “Implemented an employee referral program to cut recruitment costs by over 30%.”
Customize. Does the help wanted ad include information on what they’re looking for? Match the job requirements to your qualifications. (For example, state their requirement and then explain how your qualifications meet that requirement).
Add action words. Here are a few suggestions: streamlined, implemented, planned, led, organized, managed, created, developed…you get the idea. Instead of saying “Responsible for leading an action team to address employee concerns,” say “Led an action team to attack employee satisfaction concerns, reported feedback to management and suggested solutions to improve employee morale.” See how the first one is very passive and the second one gives a very descriptive picture of the task?
Delete unnecessary info. It’s great that you enjoy working out in your free time and that you’re active in your church, but it’s not really relevant to your career. Stick to naming activities and accomplishments that are significant to the job requirements or highlight your qualifications. Ensure you’re providing accurate information. Falsification of information on your application is a good way to get fired before you’re actually hired! It’s good to “brag” about your experience and achievements but don’t lie.
Try to keep it to two pages. One page resumes are a bit unrealistic unless you use a tiny font, but most hiring managers won’t read past two.