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Even highly qualified people often stumble on writing their resumes. It’s hard to describe yourself accurately. If resume writing has tripped you up in the past, keep reading for some steps that will make the process easier for you.

Understand the Hiring Process

HR departments don’t review every resume that comes into their inbox. Many companies use screening software that rejects any resume that doesn’t hit a match percentage. If a human being does look at your resume, it gets about five seconds.

Showcase Relevant Skills and Experience

As much as possible, use the exact phrasing you see in job listings in your resume. Why? Those software screening programs look for them. They also discard resumes that don’t include them.

List Non-Work Accomplishments

If you get past the screening phase, you must still capture the hiring manager’s attention. Use accomplishments from outside work. List volunteer activities, certifications or service club memberships.

Have Two Resumes

You should maintain a resume that includes your entire work history with complete descriptions of each job. The second resume should look like an outline that only includes essential info like employers, job titles, and education. That way, you can cherry-pick information that fits best with the job you’re applying for.

Focus Points

Make your name and contact information easy to find. The upper left-hand corner is best. The other focus point you should spend time on is the resume summary. Use it to highlight what you can bring to the company.

Focus on Relevant Experience

Those with a long work history or a recent survival job often devote valuable real estate to irrelevant work experience. Devote one section to your most relevant work experience and provide details. Put everything else in an “other experience” section. Consider dropping any job from more than ten years ago since it can expose your age.

Skip the Pic

Adding a picture may sound like a good idea, but it can also put HR departments into an awkward position. Companies are bound by antidiscrimination laws. It’s difficult to argue that a picture had no influence on your hiring decisions.

Keep It Neutral

Like or not, people have biases. Do your best to minimize words that give away your gender, age or ethnicity. Many companies remove identifying information like names before considering applicants. Make it easy for them.

Don’t let past bad experiences with resumes hold you back. You can write a killer resume that lands you the job you want. Think your new resume is polished enough? Get in touch with GPS and let us find you the right opportunity.

 

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