What Are the 10 Things That Define a Killer Resume?

Nancy Anderson
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A killer resume is an essential tool to move your job search along to the interview stage. Regardless of your qualifications, you're not going to be hired if your resume doesn't make it through the initial screening process. Keep in mind these 10 characteristics of a great resume as you craft the perfect document.

1. Is Easy to Read

Keep your layout clean and organized with plenty of white space. Bulleted lists make it easy for the reviewer to see the most important facts about you at a glance.

2. Targets the Position

Be sure to direct your great resume towards the specific positions for which you are applying. In the digital age, it's easy to tweak each resume so that it focuses on the requirements mentioned in the job posting.

3. Contains No Personal Extras

Use all the space on your resume to show your skills, experience and aptitude for the job. Avoid adding filler like hobbies or unrelated volunteer activities.

4. Includes Quantifiable Accomplishments

A good resume includes a clear list of your job-related accomplishments. A great resume also includes specific numbers to show just exactly how much your accomplishment benefited a previous employer. For example, saying that you saved the business $100,000 by decreasing project costs without a loss of quality is better than simply saying that you reduced project costs.

5. Focuses on the Future

There is no need to list your entire career and educational history. Build a great resume by focusing on things that show a path to the future career for which you are aiming. Getting an interview is easier when you show your desire and potential.

6. Prioritizes

List your most important accomplishments near the top of the resume so that the reviewer sees them first. Remember that most reviewers initially spend less than 10 seconds on a resume before deciding whether to discard or not.

7. Is Well-Written

A great resume has no grammatical errors or misspelled words. Proofread, and then have someone else proofread it too. Also, make sure everything makes sense and that you present your qualifications clearly.

8. Avoids Jargon

Keep your language simple. Using industry buzzwords just makes it look like you are trying too hard.

9. Includes No Liabilities

Don't include any items that might put you at a disadvantage in the eyes of the hiring manager. Although you might think it shows honesty, including things like information about a long-term absence due to illness or a marked dislike of numbers is a quick way to find your resume in the discard pile.

10. Shares Your Passion

When you emphasize the skills and work activities that you love, your passion for your industry shines through. If you focus on things you might be good at by really don't enjoy, you are likely to sound unenthusiastic to potential employers, making getting an interview difficult.

Build a killer resume by starting with a clean, simple design, and then adding the most important items up at the top. Focus on the skills needed for the job, but also let your passion for your work show. Be honest, but don't fill up your resume with unnecessary personal information. A great resume gets you the interview you need to move on to the right job for your future.

Photo courtesy of Nirmala Ratna at Flickr.com


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