Top 7 Tips for Successful Resume Writing

A resume is a summary of your employment history, which should be written with the right amount of information to entice a potential employer to want to know more and consequently invite you to attend an interview. Too much information can sometimes work against you and hitting the right balance takes practice.

A resume should always be customized to the position you are applying for and used in conjunction with a cover letter.

I have seen many people not make the cut to an interview because they presented a poorly written and composed resume. These applications, more often than not, end up straight in the recycling bin a lot of the time, and with employment competition as fierce as it is in this tough economy, you have no room for error.

Resumes can weed people out, rather than get people in...

Here are my Top 7 Tips for successful resume writing.

1. Brainstorm and write about your professional journey so far, before hitting the laptop. Get a notepad and pen and write out any and all thoughts about who you are professionally. Who you want to be, what position you want to achieve, what your objective is and the specific details of your work history. Get it all out on paper and then organize it into a sequential manner.

2. Customize your resume for the specific position you are applying for and highlight the relevant areas of your experience that match with responsibilities in the vacancy. Match your skills to the required competencies.

3. Use verbs to describe your achievements, as opposed to just stating what you did on a daily basis.

4. Don't use fancy fonts and colors or images. Keep it simple and professional. Arial and Times New Roman are the industry standard fonts in 11 or 12-point size.

5. Only include professional information, as personal hobbies and interests are irrelevant and usually do not help you land your dream job.

6. Use the most appropriate resume style relevant to the current stage of your career. There are four main resume styles; chronological, functional, combination and targeted.

7. Whenever possible, include references from former employers, teachers, colleagues, peers. Testimonials of this nature will always work in your favor.

Taking the time to formulate a tailored resume that is aesthetically pleasing, gets straight to the point and leaves an employer wanting to meet you and potentially have you on their team is your goal of a successful resume. Thinking about it from an employer's perspective can help build your professional story. Would you hire you? Julie Kelly is the Founder and voice behind Her Career Advice, an online resource aimed at empowering and educating women on how to have successful careers and ultimately fulfilling lives. As a very successful, professional woman, Julie helps other women gain confidence, skills and strategies to excel in the corporate world through her books, blog and other online tools.

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