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Tips on Writing a Great Resume

Tip 1: Use Titles or Headings That Match The Jobs You Want
With employers receiving hundreds of resumes you must make sure that your resume hooks an employer's attention within a 5-second glance. A great way to do this is to use job titles and skill headings that relate to and match the jobs you want.

Tip 2: Use Design That Grabs Attention
Employers make snap judgments when glancing at your resume. If they see unrelated job titles or skills the likelihood is very high that they will make an immediate assumption that you are not qualified for the job you want. Adding to this problem is the fact that employers don't have the time to read through each of your job descriptions to determine if you have the skills they need.

You Must Do That For Them! The design of your resume must highlight the most important information about your work experience, skills and education. At first glance this information forms the image that employers have of your skills and abilities.

Tip 3: Create Content That Sells
Resume design should get attention but it's really the content of your resume, the descriptions you include of your skills and abilities, that determine how many interviews you generate--as well as the level of salary offers you receive. 

Tip 4: Quantify and Use Power Words
Using numbers to describe your achievements and responsibilities can greatly expand and elevate your image. Using numbers and quantifying creates vivid images in our mind when we read them, whereas general statements are easy to skip over or forget. Typically the more specific you can be in describing your duties the better.

Another strategy that is extremely important in controlling the image that employers develop about you--is to use Power Words or verbs that match the level of position you want.

Typical Verbs: Gave work assignments to staff of entry level accounting clerks. Power Words: Directed workflow, supervised and trained accounting staff performing posting to general ledger, accounts receivable and payable accounts.

Tip 5: Analyze Ads and Job Descriptions to Identify Key Words
Learning how to analyze the key words that employers provide in help wanted ads and job descriptions is a key element in creating powerful resumes.

Sample Key Word Skill Headings:
Management of A/R Accounts
Billing and Collections
Supervision of Accounting and Administrative Staff
Balance Sheet and Management Status Reports

Tip 6: Identify and Solve Employer's Hidden Needs
In addition to the skills or needs listed in an ad, the employer will have many more needs that should be identified and addressed in your resume and cover letter. To beat today's heavy competition for jobs, it's important that you identify and anticipate the full range of needs each employer faces and show how you can solve those needs.

Tip 7: Sell the Benefits of Your Skills
Most resumes provide a list of duties that each applicant has been responsible for - without explaining the benefit of those skills to employers. For example, a secretary's resume might state she can type 80 wpm and is extremely accurate. This statement lacks an explanation of how her typing speed and accuracy benefit an employer's bottom line. The real benefit is that the employee can produce more work and ultimately save the employer money. A better statement for this person's resume would be:

Selling The Benefits of Skills: (sample)
Achieved top production volume by maintaining high degree of accuracy with typing speed at 80 wpm.
Cut labor expense over $6,000 annually by eliminating the need for part-time word processing staff.

Tip 8: Create An Image That Matches The Salary You Want
As you write your resume, keep in mind the level of job and salary you want. Be sure to create an image that presents you at the appropriate level. For example, language used in a resume for an $8 an hour position is much different than the language used for a $16 an hour position.

Your goal is to stay at your current salary level or move up - not go backwards.

Tip 9: Prioritize the Content of Your Resume
Another big mistake that job seekers make is to list very important data in the lower sections of their job descriptions. As you compile statements for your resume, prioritize them by importance, impressiveness and relevance to the job you want. Remember that a strong statement which uses power words and quantifies will affect every statement under it.

Tip 10: Tweak and Target Your Resumes and Cover Letters
You will generate many more interviews by tweaking your resume and cover letter so that they address the specific skills each employer requests. This "re-labeling" is entirely truthful and is extremely important in landing more interviews because it allows job seekers to apply for, and look qualified for, a wider range of jobs.

Calvert Memorial Hospital is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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