7 Tips for Building a Better Resume

Woman interviewing for job

Editor’s Note: This post is part of the PTK EDGE™ Employment curriculum. Enroll today to find more helpful info like this to guide you to employment success!

1.   Make it skimmable. Potential employers rarely read resumes in their entirety. Instead, they skim spending on average only 7 seconds on each resume. Use design elements like bullets, headings, and text formatting emphasize your can’t-miss selling points.

2.  Replace yesterday’s career objective with today’s professional summary. Include the more important elements of your career experience, skills, and achievements in a professional summary section. Make sure the skills you emphasize align with the description of the job you are seeking.

3.  Opt for accomplishment statements. Instead of creating a resume that’s a list of mini job descriptions, use action verbs to create accomplishments statements to emphasize your specific accomplishments in each job.

4.  Quantify with numbers. Use numbers to give the reader a more specific picture of your accomplishments whenever possible. Instead of “I increased sales,” try “my strategy increased sales by 17%.”

5.  Mind the gap. This applies not only when riding the subway but also when sharing your work history. There’s nothing inherently bad about having a gap in employment history, just don’t leave your reader thinking you are hiding something. Address the gap and briefly explain the reason for it.

6.  Do your homework. Do a internet search to learn about the organization’s mission, vision, values, and activities. Before you send a resume or complete an application, have an answer for the inevitable, “What do you know about this organization?”

7.  Don’t be lazy. Customize your resume for each position for which you apply. Yes, it means more work on your part, but it also shows potential employers that you are the applicant who will go the extra mile.

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