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6 Questions to ask yourself when writing your resume

In the modern workplace, the resume has been reinvented as a smartly crafted marketing pitch that sells you as a candidate to prospective employers. Every job-seeker worth his or her salt knows that a resume has to be top-notch to garner attention. It should showcase Brand You, highlighting your skills and accomplishments. And it must be formatted to be Applicant Tracking System (ATS) friendly.

Asking yourself these 6 questions while writing a resume may help you put together a resume that stands out:

1. How long should my resume be?

There is no rule of thumb when it comes to the length of a resume. But no hiring manager has the time to read a 5-page document. Tighten your resume and try to fit in as much in the least possible space. Remove information that’s not relevant. But be sure that your resume doesn’t end at half a page – a one-page document is the least you can provide.

2. What kind of position am I seeking?

Your resume will differ in content if you are looking to change careers or move ahead in your established career. Once you identify the kind of job you are seeking, personalize your resume. A resume for someone seeking a job in fashion design will be quite different from someone looking for a teacher’s job.

3. What does the employer want to see?

One challenge with resume writing lies in removing inapt information and keeping necessary bits, mainly those that showcase your success and achievements. Edit the resume keeping in mind the job posting. Most job postings list the desired qualifications; make sure you have all bases covered.

4. Am I giving the employer what they want?

Pay special attention to the keywords in the job postings. Although soft skills count, your resume needs to highlight and corroborate your evidence-based accomplishments. A targeted resume works way better than one that you send out every time you hear of a job opening. It is important to understand what’s that employers want to see in your resume.

5. “So what?”

Ask yourself this question at every line/para in your resume. Doing this will ensure that you write descriptions that highlight your results and achievements. Employers are not interested in the list of job duties; they want to see what you have accomplished. Focusing on achievements reveals that you are capable of achieving goals set forth in the job posting.

6. What sets me apart from my competitor?

Be sure your USP for the job you are applying for is presented clearly. Be sure to incorporate extras that will set you apart from competition. You could add an “Ongoing Learning” segment under the education section to mention courses/training you are currently taking. For more expert advice to set you apart from the competition, consult a professional resume writing service.

Tips to write the perfect resume

  1. Start with a background document first. Create topic headings.
  2. Use bullet points to highlight major accomplishments.
  3. Weed out typos and grammar blunders.
  4. Numbers stand out. If you have any achievements that can be measured in numbers, include them.
  5. Always customize your resume for every submission.
  6. Use an eye-friendly font and font-size. Liberal use of white space and bullets help highlight important skills.
  7. Remember to write in memo style, not paragraphs.
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