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En Route: A Career Blog

Content is key in resumes

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
CATEGORY:
POSTED: February 1, 2013 at 9:08 am

 

Many of us worry about the font to use in our resumes (hint: Times New Roman or Arial are the best). Others wonder if one page is standard or is it two pages? Frankly speaking, a resume is as long as it needs to be provided it contains only relevant information for the new job search.

You might ask then, if appearance isn’t everything – if length won’t push a resume to the top of the pile, what will?

resumeslant

(Photo: lifehacker.)

Your Content is What Matters

And not any content, mind you. Far too many resumes employ overused words and phrases rather than specific information that allows a hiring manager or recruiter to know what you, personally, can do for a company. What your unique knowledge, skills and abilities might be.

Don’t Fall into This Trap

I recently read an article on ragan.comThe Most Overused Words on Resumes. Great post. Here’s a table presented in the article of phrases to leave out and how to stand out.

Phrases to leave out

How to stand out

Highly qualified Describe for the hiring manager what you bring to the role. Highlight your accomplishments in previous positions, emphasize your specific skills and note any certifications you have earned.
Hard worker Explain exactly how you’ve gone the extra mile. For instance, did you regularly meet tough deadlines, handle a high volume of projects or tackle tasks outside your job description?
Team player Working well with others is a must for any role today. Provide examples of how you partnered with colleagues or individuals in other departments to meet an objective.
Problem solver People love others who can help them get out of a pickle, but be specific when you describe this quality. Highlight a difficult situation you encountered and how you handled it.
Flexible Hiring managers seek candidates who can adapt quickly to new situations. Describe how you responded to a major change at work or dealt with the unpredictable aspects of your job.
People person Employers want professionals with strong communication skills who can build camaraderie with internal and external contacts. Provide an example of how you won over a challenging customer or coworker.
Self-starter Companies seek individuals with initiative who can contribute immediately. Show how you took action when you saw an issue that needed to be fixed.

 

Accomplishments Matter – Quantified Accomplishments are Essential

You’ll notice from the above table that examples will prove your abilities far more to a hiring manager or recruiter than overused phrases such as hard worker or team player. In order for your resume to be noticed among the dozens or hundreds of other applications, you must show results for your efforts and quantify them with percentages of improvement, dollars save/earned, and the time periods in which the achievements took place.

If you want to succeed, you’ll need to be as specific in your resume as possible and paint yourself as the ideal candidate for the position you’re targeting.

 

The certified writers at ResumeEdge are highly skilled in crafting accomplishment-based resumes, rather than those that are task-focused. They have decades of expertise in 40+ industries. In addition to resume writing and resume editing, ResumeEdge also offers cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and interview coaching through its JobInterviewEdge service.

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

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