A resume is a personal document that lists your education, employment and skills. A winning resume is one that does it with flair — it sells rather than tells.
Fifteen seconds is the average time it takes for an employer to scan your résumé and decide if they are interested in you for the job. When you look good on paper, there is a better chance that an employer will invite you for an interview. They want to fill the open position as soon as possible, but they want to make sure they have the right person. A winning resume is an important tool to help decide if you’re a good candidate for the job.
If you want to get your foot in the door for that interview, it is time to write a winning resume.
- Keep your wording simple but include details that highlight your skills and strengths.
- Do not use contractions or abbreviations, such as “don’t” for “do not” or “asst” for “assistant.”
- Double check to make sure there are no errors with grammar, punctuation or spelling in your resume.
Have a friend check it too.
- Print copies using the highest quality setting on white paper.
Make it easy to read and use a professional style.
- Set left and right margins to one inch and top and bottom margins to at least .75 inch.
- Fun fonts are distracting on a resume; Calibri size 12 font is a good one to use.
- Do not use italics or color fonts.
- Do not underline key words.
- Do not use personal pronouns, like I, my, me and you.
- Use bold lettering and indent to draw attention to important information.
- Use bulleted phrases.
- One-page is appropriate for recent graduates; two-pages are for great individuals with more work experience.
The content in your resume should match the qualifications of the job.
- Do research the company. Include keywords from their website and/or job description on your resume.
- Focus on your experience that meets the required and desired qualifications on the job description.
- Be honest about all your information; do not lie or exaggerate.
Angela Houk is the dean of education at Shepherds College in Union Grove, Wisc. For more information about Shepherds College, an accredited, faith-based post secondary school for individuals with intellectual disabilities, visit shepherdscollege.edu.