4 Ways to Strengthen Your Professional Resume

Posted by Rebekkah On October - 21 - 2015 0 Comment

ResumeIt’s likely that an employer will only spend about 7-10 seconds glancing over a resume. It’s in those few seconds that you want to be able to capture his or her attention. Think about advertisements and social media for a moment–how often do you simply scroll past a tweet or post without giving it much thought? How many times do you stop at a post and genuinely read it? Why do you read it? Because you’re interested. That’s exactly what you want to do to an employer with your professional resume.

You may already have a resume, and if you do, great. If you don’t, there are some great resume tips out on the internet. These are some tips that will help you strengthen your resume and make you stand out among the rest of the candidates:

 1. Remove the Cliché Objective

The job objective has become the spot where you feel the most inclined to sell yourself. While some resumes will omit the job objective altogether, if you must keep it on your resume, lose the cliche phrases that every employer has read time and time again. Do some research on the company and write how you think your skills will help them, but keep it short. Conveny in a concise manner how you believe your set of skills and experiences will benefit them. Don’t write the potential employer a novel at the top of your resume–a simple one-two sentence phrase is all you need, but ditch the commonly used, “…in search of a challenging position where I can demonstrate my experiences to further my career.”

 2. Show How You Made a Difference in the Employment History

Most resumes include what the job tasks were in each past employement position. Think a little further and incorporate how you made a difference at those previous jobs. Write what you did, not what the job entailed. Usually we lay out our employment history with the most recent job, but if you feel a past position is more closely related to the position you’re applying for, considering rearranging your history accordingly.

 3. Include Only the Skills You Really Know

And not only the skills you really know, but the ones that apply to the position. If you’re applying for a supply chain position, don’t include that you have skills with graphic design. The employer will be more interested in your skills with Microsoft Excel. Leave out the skills that you don’t find necessary. If you can type 85 wpm, but don’t want to be sitting at a desk all day doing clerical odd-jobs and other assignments, maybe leave that out. Include the skills that make sense, and be honest about them.

 4. Be Honest

There’s nothing worse than an overloaded “professional” resume with information that’s a lie. Lies will come back to haunt you. They may help you get the job intitially, but an employer or HR rep might catch on and find that you actually never receieved a minor in a subject you said you did, or have a specific set of skills. Be honest–it’s the best policy. Someone will find out eventually, either during an interview process or years down the road.

Overall, make sure your resume stands out. When choosing between a generic resume template and one I’ve created myself, I always choose the latter. An employer sees one hundred generic resumes before they see that one that really sticks and deserves an interview. Be that one that stands out among the rest.

This guest post is from Michigan State University College of Business, a college within MSU that offers full-time, weekend, and executive MBA programs.

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