Five Simple Steps to Writing a Resume That Gets Results

Let's face it: Writing a resume can be a tough task. In fact, a lot of job seekers will put off looking for work simply because the thought of creating or updating a resume is so daunting.

This week, Job Tip of the Week offers five easy steps to help you write a resume that gets results.

1. Be a copycat.

Somewhere in your network, extended or immediate, you have an associate who is always going on interviews. Connect with that person and ask to see a copy of her resume. Why? It clearly gets a lot of results. Even if she works in a different industry, you can still pick up valuable tips from it.

Consider mimicking the general format of her resume. Also, pay attention to how information is presented. Does she use figures? Does she talk about specific accomplishments and skills? Or is her resume broad and brief?

Incorporating the qualities of a resume that gets results into yours can only improve your chances of landing an interview.

2. Don't Save the Best for Last

What is your most outstanding professional accomplishment? Make sure it's the focal point of your resume. How? Choose a format that allows you to do so.

There are several different formats for resumes -- chronological (focuses on where you worked and when), functional (emphasizes skills), and combination (combines chronological and functional formats). Select the one that will help your most important achievements immediately stand out.

3. Keywords are key.

Every day, hiring managers and recruiters use keywords to find ready and willing job seekers from the Yahoo! HotJobs job seeker database.

You can have all the skills these decision-makers are seeking, but if your resume doesn't contain the same keywords they're using, it's probably not getting the attention it deserves.

If you're looking for a job as a marketing manager on Yahoo! HotJobs, do a comprehensive search for this position and create a list of keywords common to several different job postings. Next, incorporate as many of those keywords into your resume as possible.

4. Ask for feedback.

The next time you meet someone who works in human resources or at an executive search firm, ask him to review your resume, even if you only have a draft.

Solicit a blunt and unforgiving assessment of your current resume. It is the only way you'll truly find out which elements of your resume or aspects of your career might be a turn off to hiring managers.

You can also request resume feedback during an informational interview. Ask the professional with whom you're meeting what the company looks for in a resume and how yours might measure up were you to apply for a job.

5. Hire a professional.

You can read every book that offers tips for writing a great resume and still not be able to do it. Oftentimes, it's hard to be objective -- or even boastful -- about your career. You may find yourself focusing more on what you have yet to accomplish rather than what you already have. Or perhaps writing is not your strong suit.

Whatever the case, your inability to write a strong resume doesn't negate your need for one. Tap your network for a recommendation for a resume writer. Look for a professional with a proven track record. Ask for references and be sure to agree on a price before you begin the process.

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