Smart Resume Writing Ideas
Welcome to the Competitive World
Did you know that of any given 200 résumés, only 10 are error-free? Would you believe that only five of these are clearly written with a focused message? And it is these five résumés that get called for interviews – which is the top 2.5%.
Interestingly, almost the exact same percentage came up in a recent conversation I had with a passionate young fiction writer. He mentioned to me that of any one hundred manuscripts submitted to a publisher, only two or three are carefully read. Then only one aspiring writer is finally selected for publication. He was proud to be that writer.
- Use the provincial or state’s postal abbreviation in your contact information.
- Employ a consistent format for your telephone number.
- Write something unique and interesting about yourself in the profile section.
- Include a testimonial about yourself after describing your proven competencies.
- In the professional experience section, describe yourself as a problem-solver.
In this week’s post, let’s look at some smart résumé writing ideas from Scott Bennett’s handy book, The Elements of Résumé Style.
Use These Smart Résumé Writing Ideas
- Be honest in everything you write about yourself. If you exaggerate your skills, knowledge or experience, it is the same as lying. It’s not good for your reputation.
- Create your own résumé format. Do not use standard résumé templates because they make you look bad.A similar warning comes from my colleague, Liam Hickey. (See his excellent article, Resume Bullets: Factual Bragging.) He recommends not using the table layout–which you find in MS Word–in your résumé. The scanners or automatic readers that some hiring managers use cannot read tables or even headers or footers. You don’t want to submit a résumé without your name or address. That is not smart résumé writing.
- Practice clear writing. Stay away from buzzwords and technical language. If the hiring manager or resource person cannot understand what you mean, your resume will fall flat. For more about clear writing see my book, Write Now: Business Writing That Gets Results.
- Ask qualified people to review your résumé before sending it. For example, ask someone who has good writing skills. If you know someone who hires people, that’s a plus for you. Don’t be insulted by their comments; make an effort to listen to what they recommend.
- Keep your résumé off the Web so your current employer or coworkers don’t see it. You want to avoid any embarrassment.
Are you’re looking to present our best self? I have created an online multimedia course to give you tips on creating an amazing personal profile.
Find out more about How to Create a Remarkable Personal Profile.