Five Elements of a Strong Resume2017-06-29T13:43:37-05:00

Starting Your Career

Building a Resume

Five Elements of a Strong Resume

If you want to get noticed by employers, there are some ways your resume can help. To start, make sure it’s organized.

  1. Place a summary up top
    You have just a few seconds to grab someone’s attention. Make the most of that moment with a brief profile of yourself. Include key accomplishments and a sense of your career focus. Use active verbs that demonstrate what you can do for the employer, not what they can do for you.
  2. Tailor the language
    Many companies use technology to scan resumes for keywords and weed out those that don’t meet minimum requirements. Use specific terms related to the job you want; you’ll find several keywords in the job posting. The scans also focus on numbers, such as years of experience and results achieved.
  3. Include clear, measurable successes
    Be honest about your skills and experience but always emphasize results. Did you earn an award? Launch a program that helped people or earned revenue? Deliver a project on time and within budget? Highlight your wins and use numbers to quantify them, if possible.
  4. Allow for multiple formats
    You’ll need a digital resume (e.g., PDF or MS Word) so you can easily upload it to websites. Consider making a text only version and one that is formatted as you would like. You’ll also need print copies available for interviews.
  5. Include a cover letter
    The cover letter helps you frame your resume. You can expand on why you’re a good fit for the job and company. Whether you mail, email, or upload your resume to a company website, always include a cover letter. It’s a little thing that could make a big difference.

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