Creating a Winning Resume

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It’s easy to find a template and pump out a resume in a few minutes. The problem is that a template-built resume will not stand out in a crowd. To create an impressive resume, you should customize it in two ways. First, since you are a unique person with distinct skills and experiences, your resume should tell your unique story. Second, most candidates have skills beyond those required for a specific job. If those skills don’t apply to the position, remove them. Your resume should target only the job you’re seeking.

If you’re targeting a job and want to learn more about it, visit the employer’s website for inspiration. You can also do an internet search for the job title and your desired company or use your professional network to learn about the position. First, develop a clear picture of the job’s prerequisites.

Your resume should make it clear that this job fits your career plan. Let them know why you want the job and why you want to work for their company. Nothing turns a recruiter off quicker than a candidate trying to escape an unhappy work situation.

Tailor the language in your resume to match the employer’s terminology. For instance, apply using that company’s job title. In addition, make sure the prospective employer understands the nature of your previous responsibilities.

Your resume presentation says as much about you as your credentials do. Use the most current terminology for your profession. Write concisely. Don’t say you’re highly motivated and hard-working. Instead, make sure your qualifications and work experience illustrate your capabilities.

Run your resume through a spelling and grammar check before releasing it.

If you possess a unique skill that may come into play, publicize it. For example, if the company is based in Germany and you speak German, include that fact in your resume. It may not be essential for the current job, but it could be a tiebreaker for a future job opportunity.

With the above guidance in mind, customizing your resume doesn’t mean drastic revisions for each opportunity. If you use dramatically different versions for each job, the indispensable qualities you bring to the job could get lost in a maze of buzzwords and clichés.

The best approach is to tweak your resume to persuade the hiring manager that you’re the best candidate. Do so, and you’ve made a significant first step toward that dream job.

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