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When it comes time for the next step in your career, you rarely find a new job through a human being. You're searching online, applying on a website, or emailing a resume and cover letter in an effort to come across as best you can on paper. It should be easy to present your professional career on a resume, since we all have to do it at some point, right? But it's not as natural to write about yourself and your past experiences as you might think.

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Look, we've seen a lot of resumes. We've sorted through the good the bad and the ugly, and believe us when we tell you, we know what works and more importantly, what doesn't. Here are some tips on what you should and shouldn't do to create a killer resume.

Do: update frequently, even you aren't looking for a job

Sometimes the right thing comes along.. all together now.. when you least expect it! Why scramble at the last minute to put your best foot forward when you can be ready to go with some regular maintenance? You know how they suggest a quick clean of your living space for 10 mins a day to avoid a solid weekend of cleaning? Same situation. Once you have a good handle of your new job, add it to your resume, updating as your responsibilities change.

Don't: use an unprofessional personal email address

If your email address was created before you could drive, there's a good chance you'll want to keep it off of your resume – stick with an email closest to your name, and don't use your current work email address.

Do: write smart descriptions

Avoid using blanket phrases or uninteresting wording. For example, rather than saying "hard worker," start by describing a person who works hard, with wording like "dedicated and fastidious designer comfortable with a fast-paced project schedule." Instead of describing yourself as "creative," explain that you "developed innovative solutions for clients in a variety of industries" and "sparked connections in brainstorming sessions." If a fifth grader would use the word, try to think of a better way to exemplify the quality.

Do: revisit your annual reviews

One of the best places to discover your recognizable strengths is to take a look at your past performance reviews. If your supervisor noticed a strength or flaw, you can bet your future employer will be interested. Who knows, maybe they pulled something out of your personality that you hadn't even known about!

Don't: use keywords obviously

Get this: 491 of Fortune 500 companies use an applicant tracking system. ATSs are used to weed out resumes that don't fit the position. That's great for hiring managers, but what if your resume and cover letter resonate better with a real live person? Tough luck, as you'll need to include some keywords spotted in the job descriptions. Don't fill your resume with invisible text containing those keywords (yes, people really do that!), but instead try using them organically throughout the page. ATSs can somehow spot a "stuffed" resume from a mile away, so avoid overusing keywords.

Now that you know how to perfect the art of resume crafting, stay tuned for our next post on making a resume that'll move you to the top of the applicant pile!

Posted: 2/11/2019 8:22:22 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments