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Real World Dos

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Resume Dos

Focus on your accomplishments with PARs and SARs, not your duties.

Change your headline to reflect the ad.

Keep the content and tone positive. There is never a need to give them a reason to not hire you. If there are negatives that can't be avoided, wait for the interview. Even then, do you really need to say it? If you do, keep it short, emphasize mitigating factors and end on a positive statement.

Your profile may start your resume, but write it last. You'll know yourself better (seriously!) and be able to write something more useful.

Rank accomplishments in order of decreasing interest to the employer that you are targeting.

Too many jobs and/or too many gaps?  Congratulations, you've just become a consultant. You can list one stable job with a variety of accomplishments. This way, you can also emphasize the jobs where you know you'll receive the best references. Give a heads up to your references and be prepared to explain the relationship about jobs that show up in background searches. (Treating independent consultants as an employee is often required for legal reasons.)

Test the overall appearance with all font sizes between 10 and 12 pts., including half sizes. Sometimes, the difference between 10.5 pts and 11 pts can be substantial.

Use functional job titles when the real title obscures your responsibilities. If your function is Contract Administrator, but your title is Vendor Relationship Manager, then Vendor Contract Administrator may be the way to go. Relationship Manager is fuzzy and possibly misleading, and could lead to a rejection on the initial resume scan. Use of functional titles is accepted practice when done for clarity, but do not to use them to inflate your position. Be upfront about it in the interview and give a heads-up to the appropriate references.

If you are over 50, leave out your education dates. They are an invitation to discrimination. (See 'Don't' about years of experience.)

Step 1: Edit and proof read your resume. Go to step 2.
Step 2: Wait a few hours and repeat step 1.
Step 3. Get fresh eyes to look at your resume for spelling, grammar and formatting.
Step 4: Repeat step 1.
This endless loop of meticulousness could save your resume from the trash.

Print your resume with a high quality printer on high quality paper and mail it in a 9x12 envelope. Yes, you read that right. I said "mail it" in this day of email communication. Email it if required, but in addition send it in the mail so it gets special handling and stands out from the crowd.

Put your name, phone number and email address on one line at the top of the second page. First pages can be lost. Even if you submit it back to back, photocopies will usually be two pages.

Send your resume in Word .doc format, preferably from Word 2003 or earlier. Here's why: Resume Reading 101: What the Recruiters are Saying…

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