Top Seven Secrets to a GREAT Resume
1. Obtain a job description.
Think of the job description as a guide when tailoring your resume for a particular position. Write down or underline all of the employer's qualifications and think of ways that you meet each or most of these. If you do not have a job description, imagine what the qualifications would be based on your knowledge of the position. Plan to emphasize these relevant qualifications on the majority of your resume.
2. Follow the 2/3rds rule.
Try to ensure that at least the first 2/3rds of your resume contains relevant information to the position you are applying for. If you do not have relevant experience, highlight your relevant coursework, group projects, or school activities.
3. Include a "Summary" or "Highlights of Qualifications" section.
This enables you to distinctly describe to an employer that you possess the qualifications he or she is looking for. Make this section concise yet information-packed. In other words, don't state broad qualifications that anyone could state about him or herself (i. e., strong writing skills). Instead, state your unique qualifications as they relate to the needs of the employer (i. e., effective writing skills as evidenced by my recent appointment to Student Newspaper Editor).
4. Emphasize past results and accomplishments.
Describe results and accomplishments that present you in the most favorable light (i. e., presented with the Student Marketing Award, an award given to one of 50 national finalists). Employers have learned that past behavior is often effective in predicting future on-the-job behavior.
5. Use boldface sparingly and to your advantage.
For example, if you are applying for a public relations position and you have held a previous public relations internship, place your position title (i. e., Public Relations Intern) in bold before listing your place of work.
6. Use headings to your advantage.
There are no right and wrong rules when using resume headings. Using the 2/3rds rule, pick headings that will call attention to your strongest relevant skills and place them towards the top (i. e., Course Highlights, Professional Activities, International Study, etc.).
7. Limit your resume to one page.
Most employers will expect a one-page resume from college students or recent college graduates. You may find it appropriate to use two pages after you have had a number of years of professional experience.
Using the above secrets will enable you to make your resume GREAT! Want to see more? Take a look at our example of a GREAT resume!
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