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Updating Your Resume? Give It a Makeover

15 ways to make your resume stronger and more vibrant

by Barbara Safani  |  3410 views  |  3 comments  |        Rate this now! 

As life-long learners, women are constantly seeking ways to improve themselves. We research the latest diet, exercise, and beauty regimens, study which fashion styles are most flattering on our shapes, and pour over articles that teach us how to be better communicators and better parents. But how many of us can honestly say that we pay attention to our careers in the same way? How many of us conduct a regular audit of our resume, the document we use to put our best foot forward in front of hiring managers?

Here are 15 ways you can make your resume really stand out.

1.) Have a resume headline. Headlines sell newspapers. They can also sell job search candidates. Hiring managers don’t really read resumes; they scan them to determine the candidate’s fit for the job. Help make that fit more obvious by having a resume headline that tells the reader your strengths.

2.) Create a profile section. Hiring managers tend to focus on the top third of the first page of the resume. They may only read on if your profile grabs their attention quickly. So, at the top of your resume, make sure you list powerful and consistent examples of how you help the companies you support make money, save money, save time grow the business, and maintain the business.

3.) List core competencies. One of the first things hiring managers look for is a sense of whether you have the skill set necessary to do the job. Your areas of expertise should be displayed prominently early on in the resume. Try to use the keywords or phrases that are important to your job function and industry. (If you are not sure what the appropriate keywords are, look for consistent wording and phrases on job postings for positions in your field to better align your qualifications with potential job specifications.)

4.) Include brief descriptions of the companies you have worked for. For each organization you were part of, include information about the company itself -- the industry it represents, its size and its revenues (if publicly held). The company description is particularly important if you have worked for new, small, or lesser-known firms.

5.) Discuss operating budgets and staff size. Include nformation on budget and staff size to help your reader gain a better understanding of the scope of your responsibilities.

6.) Minimize descriptions of job tasks. While it’s important to give a brief overview of job tasks, this information does little to differentiate candidates. Many candidates have experience doing similar job tasks; what makes them unique and memorable is what they accomplished within each task. Spend no more than three to six lines discussing the job tasks associated with each position, and save space for more valuable, accomplishment-focused information.

About the Author

Barbara Safani, owner of Career Solvers,, has over twelve years of experience in career management, recruiting, executive coaching, and organizational development. Barbara partners with both Fortune 100 companies and individuals to deliver targeted programs focusing on resume development, job search strategies, on-line identity, networking, interviewing, and salary negotiation skills.

Read more by Barbara Safani

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