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A Resume That Works

Considering that initially HR personnel only spend approximately 10-20 seconds on a resume, the shorter your resume, the most desirable it is. Aim for one page.

Of course, it is sometimes impossible to create such a short resume. You might have to include a second page because you have way too much information regarding your work experience, accomplishments, etc. In this case, make sure that you list the most relevant information within the upper half of the first page because that is the section that gets looked at first. This way, these important insights will surely be noticed.

It is not enough to run the word processor’s spell checker on your document. Proofread your resume at least 3 times, once backward (sometimes that is how you notice mistakes.)

Remember, a sloppy presentation is almost a guarantee that your resume will end up in the circular file even if you have all the qualifications in the world.

Many resume writers suggest starting a resume with an objective. I object to that (no pun intended). Objectives are useless because they are self-centered.

Here is a typical objective: “Challenging position in social services.”

My suggestion is that you start your resume with a power statement such as: “Experienced Social Worker with 10 years of proven client counseling and support background along with enthusiasm for working with children and their families.”

Whereas the objective tells the employer only what you want to do, the power statement goes further in highlighting not only the job you are seeking but also your major achievements. The power statement showcases what you can do for the company.

Begin your sentences with action verbs for added punch and to express a sense of accomplishment.

For a FREE list of action verb, please e-mail Rita Fisher at with “Action Verb List” in the subject line.

Use specifics such as numbers, percentages, figures and facts.

Example: “Exceeded sales quotas by 50% for 4 consecutive years.”

Numbers stand out and communicate clearly and openly about not only the results you produced by also about what you can do for the company (can’t repeat that enough.)

What every employer wants to know when reading your resume is what’s in it for them.

Employers are looking for people who will solve their problems. You have to present your case accordingly. How? By answering these questions and including the answers in your resume:

  • What kind of problems did you solve on the job?
  • How did the company benefit from your performance?
  • How did you do the job differently and better than the person before you did?
  • Did you introduce a new program or system?
  • If yes, what were the results of it? (Be specific regarding the results.)
  • What were you most proud of in your job?
  • What would your supervisor and your co-workers say they would miss most about you when you leave?
  • How did you make a difference in your job?
  • How did you affect the company’s bottom line?
  • Did you save money for the company? How much?
  • Did you earn money for the company? How much?

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