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I'm not sure that my friends and family really know what I do for a living, but they have some vague sense that I'm a "recruiter" and that I know at least a little something about jobs and hiring and stuff... As such, I've become a de facto, go-to resource for resume advice.

The suggestions I dole out will vary of course, and depend quite a bit on who I'm talking to, the type position and industry they're looking for and how much time I feel like investing. But I have a few overarching pieces of advice that apply to everybody.

Here now, are my Best Resume Tips:

  • Just say no to an objective. Here's the deal. Objectives are hard to write well and they're more likely to hurt than to help, so just avoid them completely. 
  • You have six seconds. That's all. That's how long someone is going to look at your resume before they decide if you're going in the proverbial "circular file." Make it count. Use bullet points, white space, bold lettering, ordering, etc. to your advantage so that you get your point across. You only have six seconds so make it count. 
  • Explain it like you're talking to a five year old. Don't assume that the person who is reading your resume has any clue about the type of position that you're applying for. It is very likely that the first person to review your resume will be an HR professional and not someone out of your industry, meaning that they very likely literally have no clue about the type of position that you're applying for. That means if you're a fry cook, don't assume that they're going know that you can make burgers, unless your resume very clearly states that you can make "BURGERS."
  • Don't be too general or vague or generic. Here's the deal: Listing accomplishments or unique qualifications is good, but being a "fast learner," is neither an accomplishment nor a qualification. Use specifics and try to put a dollar figure to it if at all possible. Most of the companies you apply to will be interested in turning a profit. At least eventually.
  • Nobody is going to read your cover letter. But you better have a good one. This is just true, okay. Deal with it. 

There you have it! Follow these tips and you'll be 90% of the way there. That way, when you call me for advice we can focus on what really matters - interview tips!!!

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Tags: How to write a resume, Job Seekers, Resume writing tips

Comment by Ryan Leary on October 15, 2013 at 8:51pm

Very nice tips. I have to agree with the family statement... My family (Including my wife) has nearly zero understanding as to what I do.

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