With an average of less than 10 seconds to impress a potential employer, your resume needs to clearly and cleanly say who you are.  You need to get across your skill set and achievements in a bold, contemporary, targeted style.  Listing your work experience and education are important, but the way in which you do this can separate you from the pack.

Avoid common grammar and spelling mistakes by keeping information lean, and proofing your copy before sending it out.  Making your resume into a PDF is important, as type easily misaligns when transferred from one applicant tracking system to another.  There are many resume building websites available where you can choose a modern format, you can also find examples of ways to present yourself as fresh and in touch with what employers are seeking.  Job objective statements are not necessary, but a brief overview of your skillset and a simple to the point cover letter will orient an employer to your level of accomplishment on par with what you are seeking.  Contact information is also very important, but should be limited to your name, email, number and any websites or folios that are reflective of your related work; thus making the top of your resume distinctive.  Too much detail and unnecessary information will appear cluttered, unfocused and will distract from your self-presentation.

While it is important to list who you have worked for, your achievements, drive, flexibility, intelligence and contributions to workforce are what will make you stand out more than your position title. Avoid unnecessary mundane details, and stick to strong action words and keywords that are relevant to the position for which you are applying. Tailoring each application to the position you are seeking will help the hiring manager find value in what you offer; this way, your contributions will not become lost in other irrelevant information.  Look at the broader picture of what you have done – instead of ‘cashier’ – use terms like ‘customer service representative’, and back it up with an accomplishment or award you were presented.  Your energy, perseverance and drive are what you want to highlight; any promotions or recognitions received will show how you were able to excel in your position.

Your education section is an important statement as to who you are and vetting your accomplishments to your potential employer, On the other hand, dates or a GPA is not necessary, as you want to focus on what you can do for the company and not on your age or how long ago you received your degree or certificate.  Specific acquired skills and computer user expertise will also help a reader determine if you are a good fit for the position, listing your skill level from beginning to advanced.

A resume can be a gateway to a broader conversation about your accomplishments, how you can fit into a company.  The idea is to highlight as many of the skills you possess that they are seeking in order to meet for an interview.  How you present these skills and experiences shows the company how you might successfully present them to the outside world, showing you are ready to become the employee they are seeking to hire.

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