Make Your Resume Better…Your Competition Is

Resumes need to have a few requirements for them to be effective and land you that priceless interview opportunity.

1. Format needs to be CPRW standard. Check it out online, there are plenty of samples.

2. Spelled and grammatically correct throughout resume, while maintaining consistency in font, size, and spacing.

3. Pertinent information only – that is, items that only relate to what you are targeting. No one cares about your college internship when you’ve been a mid-level banking manager for the past 10 years. Now if your college internship relates to biology and you’re looking to leave banking and go back into biology, then you can keep it on there.

4. Avoid word repetition and prepositional phrases. Do a keyword search for verbiage you notice you might have on overkill. Also, the goal is to only have ONE prepositional phrase per sentence.

5. Sentences need to be quantifiable while maintaining brevity. The focus of these sentences is more duty-related.  Three strategies:  1) trim back extraneous wording,  2) find a way to show “benefit” from these duties, and 3) “front-load” the benefits. Quantifying doesn’t necessarily need numbers.

For example, here are two sentences from a poorly developed sentence on a resume:
1. Supervised, organized and managed the personal affairs, including, but not limited to arranging travel itineraries, entertainment, scheduling, correspondence, catering, event planning, personnel management and house management.
2. Controlled the master schedule, budget and all financial activities including banking records, credit cards and petty cash.
Here are some better ways to author the sentences:
1. Streamlined office operations by effectively managing travel itineraries, entertainment, scheduling, correspondence, event planning, and personnel management.
2. Increased leadership skills, ensuring higher levels of accuracy in scheduling, budgeting, and banking.
If you look at my rewrites, sentences are shorter and more direct and “quanitifiers” appear right at the start of the sentences.  Quantifiers can include higher morale, customer satisfaction, reduced costs or turnaround times, etc.
The second bullet could be enhanced by adding a “how” as in this example:
Increased leadership skills, ensuring higher levels of accuracy in scheduling, budgeting, and banking through database implementation.
I would also strongly recommend trimming back to no more than 8 bullets MAX under a position.  You don’t need to mention ALL duties performed, especially those that are inherent with a type of position.  For example, an administrative support position does not need a description of reception, word processing, and other “mundane” duties.  You will also want to eliminate very similar bullets.
Also please AVOID like the plague using “Responsible for” ” or “Acted as”” as in:
Responsible for assistant managing entire restaurant aspect, including customer service, hiring, training and staff management, daily cash flow and cash register reconciles and financial reporting.

Better way to develop the sentence would be:  Managed all restaurant functions, including customer service, staff management, cash handling practices, and financial reporting.  [note: hiring and training are part of staff management, so you don’t have to break them out.]

And here’s one with word repetition (and “acted as”) that needs to be revised.

Acted as senior project manager, handling projects through to completion.

Better way to develop the sentence would be:  Exceeded project timelines, streamlining processes through to completion on time and under budget.

I hope this helps you out when developing your resume, although I would suggest getting a professional resume writing expert. Your competition is ensuring that they best represent themselves and are probably garnering more interviews, so why aren’t you?

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