Ten Keys to
a Dynamite Resume
By Bill Radin
To help you construct
a better, more powerful resume, here are ten overall considerations in regard to
your resume’s content and presentation:
1. Position title and job description. Provide your title, plus a detailed
explanation of your duties and accomplishments. Since job titles are often
misleading or their function may vary from one company to another, your resume
should tell the reader exactly what you’ve done.
2. Clarity of dates and place. Document your work history and educational
credentials accurately. Don’t leave the reader guessing where and when you
were employed, or when you earned your degree.
3. Explicitness. Let the reader know the nature, size and location of your past
employers, and what their business is.
4. Detail. Specify
some of the more technical, or involved aspects of your past work or
training—especially if you’ve performed tasks of any complexity, or
5. Proportion. Give appropriate attention to jobs or educational credentials
according to their length, or importance to the reader. For example, if you wish
to be considered for an engineering position, don’t write one paragraph
describing your current engineering job, followed by three paragraphs about your
summer job as a lifeguard.
6. Relevancy. Confine your information to that which is job-related or clearly
demonstrates a pattern of success. For example, nobody really cares that your
hobby is spear fishing. Concentrate on subject matter that addresses the needs
of the employer.
7. Length. Fill up only a page or two. If you write more than two pages, it
sends a signal to the reader that you can’t organize your thoughts, or
you’re trying too hard to make a good impression. If your content is strong,
you won’t need more than two pages.
8. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Create an error-free document that’s
representative of an educated person. If you’re unsure about the correctness
of your writing (or if English is your second language), consult a professional
writer or editor.
9. Readability. Organize your thoughts in a clear, concise manner. No resume
ever won a Nobel Prize for literature; however, a fragmented or long-winded
resume will virtually assure you of a place at the back of the line.
10. Readability. Be
sure to select a conventional type style, such as Times Roman or Arial, and
choose a neutral background or stationery. If your resume takes too much effort
to read, it may end up in the trash, even if you have terrific skills.
Finally, I suggest
you write several drafts, and allow yourself time to review your work and
proofread for errors. If you have a professional associate whose opinion you
trust, by all means, listen to what he or she has to say. A simple critique can
make the difference between an interview and a rejection.