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What You Need to Know When Writing Your Resume

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When it comes to writing resumes, there’s plenty of articles available on the Internet. As you already know, you use professional fonts, and leave healthy margins. And of course you present your information in reverse chronological order, the most recent job first.

What is ATS

Most recruiters and hiring managers use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to help screen candidates. And this is the first thing you must consider. It has been reported that 75% of candidates submit resumes that are automatically rejected because they don’t pass the ATS screening.

So be sure you take the time to read several articles on what the ATS does. Most articles will then give you tips on how to make sure that your application is ATS ready.

Six second rule

But here’s something a little different to try. Put yourself in the shoes of the person who will eventually be reading your resume. The average recruiter skims a resume for only six seconds before deciding if it’s a yes or no. What would he or she be looking for? What will they notice first?

Efficient and Concise

Don’t go over two pages when writing your resume. This lets the reader know that you have taken the time to be efficient and concise in the information that you are sending.

Professional Appearance

Make sure that your resume has a professional appearance. That means no typos, as well as no extra wording to read through. Some hiring managers automatically reject an application that is sloppy in appearance.

A resume that looks unprofessional is conveying information about the candidate’s work habits, suggesting that he or she does not pay attention to detail.

Absent Pronouns

Rather than using phrases like “duties include”, explain what you did to solve a problem or to save money for a previous employer.

At this point, it’s best to refrain from referring to yourself by your name or personal pronouns such as I, she or he. Write your achievements in what is known as absent first person where all pronouns are dropped from sentences. And make sure all your action words are in the past tense i.e. ‘achieved’ instead of ‘achieve’.

Even though you may have skills in other areas, be sure to highlight the skills you have that would apply to the specific job for which you are applying.

If there are gaps in your employment history, provide as much information as you can about what was happening at that time.

Make sure that you submit your references on a page separate from your resume.

This might be time to take a look at your email address. Your contact information should contain an email address that is simple and plain such as “first name, last name” @gmail.com.

Boost your resume

Be sure to tailor your resume to the requirements of the job posting. Here it’s also important to remember that the ATS system will recognize keywords from the job posting itself. This will give your resume a little extra boost in making it through the ATS.

A good rule to follow is ‘the simpler the better’. Be sure to use a simple font like Arial or Times new Roman. Avoid photos, colors, or bar charts.

Remember that employers do check the name and date of your degree. So it pays to be honest.

Work ethic

When writing your resume, keep in mind that most employers are looking for a strong work ethic, as well as, professionalism, communication skills, teamwork and collaboration. Depending on the position, they may also be looking for critical thinking and problem-solving and leadership.

Do not include personal information such as Social Security number, marital status, nationality, sexual orientation, or spiritual beliefs. It is illegal for employers to ask for this information.

Cynthia Becker
Life Coach/Wellness Coach
NLP Master Practitioner and Trainer
Professional Psychic

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