From presentation to content, there are many things to consider when building a successful resume. Employ the strategies below and it’s quite possible your resume could end up atop the stack.
Use a quality paper stock.
Submit your resume on a paper stock the reader will remember. That is, one that looks and feels valuable…just like you, the candidate presenting it. Generally, a paper high in cotton will give off this professional feel. As for color, you can never go wrong with white or ivory.
Make your resume stand out by handing it off in a presentation folder or a 9 x 12 mailing envelope to both protect it and give it greater presence.
Content is king.
There is no universal resume format—only guidelines. To up your odds for success, please consider the following when constructing a compelling resume:
Sell your qualifications by focusing on accomplishments and results rather than routine job descriptions.
Provide a concise, factual and positive recounting of your education, experience, and accomplishments.
Provide information throughout your resume that is relevant to prospective employers, supports your candidacy and focuses on the skills needed to do the job you’re applying for.
Be conscious of the continuity of your work history. The reader will be looking for reasons to eliminate as many resumes as possible, so a resume with gaps of unaccounted for time could land in the circular file—the trash.
Considering the proliferation of social and career networking sites (such as LinkedIn), be sure you’re being consistent with how you represent your work history on your resume versus your online profiles. Nothing scuttles interest faster than a candidate with suspicious resume details.
Choose your words carefully. Select strong action verbs, concrete nouns and positive modifiers for emphasis. Use concise phrases and clauses rather than complete sentences.
Keep a separate list of references and make them available only upon request.
Finally, always send a cover letter on matching paper referencing the company’s needs, and your qualifications for the job. A personal letter is always best, so make an effort to get the name/title of the individual in charge of hiring. Remember, your resume is only a door opener. Your ideal goal is to get the in-person interview!