10 QUICK TIPS
FOR RESUME SUCCESS!
by Kim Isaacs
Monster Resume Expert
These tidbits add up when it comes to producing a great resume!
- Smart Subject Lines
Emailing your resume? With the increase in spam and emails
containing viruses, it's best to use a descriptive subject line
that compels hiring managers to read your email. Avoid anything
that might resemble spam, such as all caps and exclamation
points. Include your name, the job title, job reference number
(if any) and a few words regarding your qualifications. Example:
"Job ref. #23432 -- Mary Jones, Network Engineer/MCSE."
- Number Usage
Are you writing numbers correctly in your resume? According to
the Gregg Reference Manual, numbers one through ten should be
spelled out, while figures should be used for 11 and higher.
Exceptions include numbers used with dates (April 9),
percentages (5%), money ($5 million), ratios/proportions
(2-to-1) and time (2 p.m.). However, some job seekers don't
spell out any numbers, because the eye gravitates to numerals,
drawing attention to important accomplishments. The main point:
be consistent in formatting numbers throughout your resume.
- Prioritize Achievements
Give your most impressive accomplishments prominence by placing
them before other, less impressive achievements. Review your
list of accomplishments and rank them in order of importance and
relevance to your career goal. Employers skimming your resume
will see your strongest accomplishments first.
- Careful with Capitalization
Did you know it's incorrect to capitalize job titles on your
resume, unless you're using it as part of a header or at the
beginning of a sentence? For example, "promoted to sales manager
after demonstrating top-ranked performance" is the correct
- Salutation Solutions
When corresponding with employers, use the traditional
salutation if the name is known (for example, "Dear Ms. Jones").
It's always best to address cover letters to a specific person,
but if you cannot obtain a name, use "Dear Hiring Manager."
Avoid "Dear Sir or Madam" and "To Whom it May Concern" -- both
salutations are outdated.
- Use the Active Voice
Add punch to your resume by using active voice instead of
passive voice. If your sentences are written in active voice,
they will present you as a doer and achiever. Compare these
sentences to see how active voice is more concise and dynamic.
Passive: $1.2 million in new products were sold. Active: Sold
$1.2 million in new products. Review your resume and look for
ways to express your accomplishments in active voice.
Stay in the Now
If your resume contains a long work history, keep in mind that
employers are most interested in your recent experience. Provide
ample descriptions of your accomplishments from the last 10 to
15 years. As you move back in time, present just the facts:
company name, city, state, job title, dates and a brief blurb
about what you accomplished.
Type for Today
Still inserting two spaces after periods? This convention is a
throwback to the old typewriter days, when two spaces were used
to help signal the end of a sentence because typefaces were
monospace. With today's proportional fonts, two spaces after
periods can create distracting rivers of white space. Update
your resume's look by inserting just one space after periods.
Show Your Stuff
Make your resume more convincing not by telling them, but
showing them. For example, instead of stating that you have
"excellent interpersonal skills," prove your skills through
achievements such as receiving a customer service award or
successfully negotiating a lucrative deal.
Is your resume truthful? Many job seekers misrepresent
themselves by falsifying information such as education,
employment dates and accomplishments. Omitting facts can also be
misleading. If the lie is discovered, you could lose out on an
excellent opportunity or be fired after accepting a position.
Your best bet is to honestly portray your career history.