5 Ways to Improve Your Resume

Posted September 20, 2013 by
Robin Ryan

Robin Ryan

According to our national survey of human resources personnel and hiring managers, your resume gets a 15 second glance. 15 Seconds! In today’s competitive job market, your resume has to be a door opener.

Here are five important techniques to use to make your resume get noticed.

1.    Emphasize results! Employers stress that demonstrating the results you achieved matters the most in getting noticed. Lace your resume with the accomplishments you achieved in past positions. Show the impact you had and your productivity by including details concerning money earned or time or dollars saved. Use numbers to reflect, how much, how many, and percentage of gain or reduction.

2.     Use Keywords! Many employers sort resumes electronically, so resume selection is dependent on the keywords contained in your resume. Make a list of the “buzz words” connected to perform your type of job. Look through employers’ job ads to uncover the major ones. Incorporate these keywords into the sentences describing your previous work experience.

3.    Target the resume. Be specific and clearly show you meet the requirements of the job you are applying to. Employers search quickly and skim to see you can do a certain job — and they will trash any resume that isn’t geared to that position. (Tip: you may need to have more than one resume if you target different positions i.e.one for Project Manager, another resume when you apply for Systems Analyst).

4.   Limit resume to two pages. Employers are primarily interested in the work you’ve done in the last 5-7 years no matter what level the position is. State results and say exactly what you mean, using the smallest number of words to make the point. Be a skillful editor.  Delete anything not relevant or helpful to securing that particular job.

5.   Use action verbs. Never use “I” on the resume. Start each sentence with a descriptive action verb – such as directed, organized, established, created, planned, etc. Short impact sentences demonstrating what you have done gather more attention.

Proofread carefully before you hit send. The #1 complaint employers have is about spelling errors and typos.

By Robin Ryan, Career Counselor and Best Selling Author of “Winning Resumes”


Career Counselor Robin Ryan provides individual job search coaching services to clients nationwide. The bestselling author of Over 40 & You’re Hired; Winning ResumesWinning Cover Letters; and 60 Seconds & You’re Hired!; Robin Ryan has appeared on more than 1,500 TV and radio shows including: Oprah, Dr. Phil, Fox News, and CNN.

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