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Updating Your Resume? Give It a Makeover

15 ways to make your resume stronger and more vibrant

by Barbara Safani  |  3419 views  |  3 comments  |        Rate this now! 

7.) Maximize your accomplishments. Employers are interested in reading about your accomplishments -- they are a better predictor of success than a discussion of job tasks. Accomplishment statements are those that clearly indicate how you help the companies you support make money, save money, save time, grow the business, and maintain the business.

8.) Group similar accomplishments into categories. After you develop your accomplishment statements, look for trends within your achievements. Do some accomplishments represent increases in sales while others represent decreases in costs or process improvements? By grouping accomplishments by theme, and creating category headings within the chronology for each position, you can better communicate your personal brand and value-add and make it easier for your reader to follow the accomplishments achieved within each key critical competency.

9.) Only include hobbies when they are relevant to your job search or in synch with you target audience. For xample, an IT technician might mention his knack for fixing up old cars, and an event planner might mention her involvement in community theater. Hobbies can also be used effectively to counter potential age bias. For example, the over-50 candidate might mention that she is a marathon runner to imply overall

stamina, health, and fitness and to dissuade any bias that she might lack the necessary energy to do the job.

10.) Include appropriate volunteer experience. Again, include what is relevant and discuss the competencies gained from the volunteer experience that elevate your candidacy. For example, a candidate seeking to enter the healthcare field might discuss the volunteer work she did in a hospital, or a technology professional might mention teaching computer skills to disadvantage youths.

11.) List relevant professional affiliations. Include relevant and recent professional affiliations and make special mention of any eadership roles held within these organizations.

12.) Report employment history by years. Hiring managers generally expect to see the years you were employed by a company, not the months and years. Exceptions to this include candidates who have less than one year of tenure in a position or students reporting on summer employment or internships.

13.) Focus on past 10 to 15 years of employment. Generally, hiring authorities are more interested in recent accomplishments than those achieved over a decade ago. Weight information on your documents towards the past 10 to 15 years and minimize the amount of space dedicated to earlier work experience.

14.) Include graduation dates. Sometimes job seekers omit their graduation date on their resume to avoid the possibility of someone discovering their age and using it against them. But by omitting the date, you may actually be calling more attention to the very issue you are trying to hide.

15.) Don't say “References available upon request.” It is understood that candidates will provide references when asked. Save the space for more compelling, accomplishment-driven 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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