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Does your resume present you in the best possible light? Take a ten-second look at your resume from the perspective of a hiring manager or recruiter. Would you read on? Does it grab your attention right off the bat? Review your resume against these checkpoints. Is it professional looking and visually pleasing? Is it consistent? Is it inviting? Did you use a resume wizard or a Word template? If so, have you completely changed the formatting and made it look as professional as possible. Or does it look like it came off of an assembly line? Have you placed your most significant and outstanding accomplishments at the top by outlining the most important information in a qualifications summary? Did you create and add a compelling headline? Have you used proper headings for each section, such as the Professional Experience and Education sections? Is it concise and the proper length to target your particular goal? Is it focused? Does it include relevant information? Does it contain typos, misspelled words, or improper grammar? Does it avoid the use of personal pronouns, such as I, me, and my? Were you totally honest? Have you done your homework and conducted research to find pertinent keywords? Have you sprinkled them throughout your resume, or have you so many keywords your resume doesn't flow or sound natural? Did you include action verbs to help make your resume come alive and jump off the page? Is your resume targeted towards one particular job or career? Have you clearly pointed out your transferable skills? Is it focused on your goal? Is your Professional Experience section filled with boring job duties and responsibilities, or did you highlight your accomplishments and achievements? Have you added quantifiable result by including as many numbers, percentages, and dollar amounts as possible, to back up your accomplishments and make them pop off the page? Have you remembered to include applicable information, such as publications, awards, and memberships? Critiquing your resume is a difficult thing to do.
We have an emotional interest in it. Therefore, the next very important step is to give it to others to critique. Family members have an emotional interest in you as well, so try to find several professionals in your industry to review it for you, preferably people that have hired others before. Perhaps you have a mentor or a trusted colleague you can ask to review it for you. Also, do you know someone that has excellent spelling and grammar skills? Run it by them as well.
It goes without saying that you should use caution when giving to others in your current organization to review. Once you receive feedback, be prepared to make necessary changes. So, how did your resume measure up? Do you have a job-winning resume on your hands? If not, be sure to review the movies where your resume fell short, or is lacking. If so, congratulations! Get ready for the phone to ring.
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