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Posted April 29, 2016 by

20 ways to rock your resume

Resume with pen on table closeup courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Casper1774 Studio/Shutterstock.com

Another week without attention paid to your resume. You are applying for jobs that match your education and skills; you have a nicely formatted document; and you have outlined your work experience very well with bolded headings and bullet points like you were told to do. You’re qualified but just can’t manage to get that call for an interview. Could there be that many people more qualified than you? Maybe not. There may be some flaws in your resume you have not realized.

Here are 20 tips that can improve your resume.

Make sure you are emphasizing results, not responsibilities

It’s a common error; job seekers are trying very hard to list all of their responsibilities for each position. Their thinking, of course, is the more responsibilities, the more qualified they will be. What is more important to employers is the results, what job seekers have actually accomplished.

Take a look at the responsibilities you have listed for each position. Can you list any quantifiable results? Did your re-organization save the department $50,000 a year? Sometimes, you may think results will be hard to provide. For example, perhaps you took over a department that had no baseline data to work with to show improvement. And maybe the improvement was qualitative rather than quantitative. Take employee morale, for instance. You know you improved it when you took over that department. But how was the improvement measured? Maybe there was much lower turnover or maybe the rate of absenteeism dropped significantly. These are important figures to have. Never leave a position without gathering figures that support your results.

A lot of space was spent on this item. Why? Because it is the one thing employers say is usually missing from a resume.

Target skills/background for each position

This is the primary reason why you need to tweak each resume for every job opening. If you have background in training, administration, HR, and sales/sales management, and are applying for jobs that focus on one of those, then focus your resume in that direction. Spend far more space on that focus area than on others. Generic resumes don’t really work anymore.

Re-visit keywords for each position

Change out your keywords based upon two things: the job description and the company’s website. Sometimes, reading through the company’s home page and the “about us” page will give you more keywords to include. And keywords that relate to the position should be placed as close to the top of the resume as possible and included in your cover letter.

Include a summary section

A statement of your career goals at the beginning of your resume is not advisable. Companies don’t care about your goals; they care about what you “bring to the table.” Switch that out for a short summary of your skills and experience that relate to the position, with four to five sentences only.

Use standard software

Microsoft Word or a PDF version of your resume should be the only programs used to submit resumes. Scanning will probably not recognize any other programs, and you will never know your resume was unreadable.

Business woman unhappy with resumes of applicants and throwing them on the table courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Milles Studio/Shutterstock.com

Aim for one page

Edit, edit, edit. Take out anything superfluous, reduce sentences to phrases, and remove some of your contact information. Employers don’t need your address and don’t include references unless specifically asked to do so. If you are able to edit the resume to one page, that is ideal. But NEVER go beyond two pages unless you are preparing a CV.

Do not lie

Not about anything. Of course, you want to try to avoid resume mistakes, and of course you want to present yourself in the best light. Exaggerating or giving yourself a job title you did not actually have are big risks. These things can be discovered when references and/or social media are reviewed. Focus on your skills and qualifications completely but honestly.

Use action verbs

They are so much stronger. If you don’t know the difference, here is an example:

1. Responsible for implementing budget reduction by 10% without loss of productivity

2. Reduced budget by 10% without loss of productivity

The second phrase is strong and active. (P.S.: Never use “I”)

Visual appeal is a must

You’ve seen enough resume templates to understand what visual appeal is. The best font now is probably Arial, 12-14 point. The reason for this is there’s good, natural spacing between lines that are not complete and enough white space between bulleted points. Your final resume should have sub-headings in bold (e.g., each position), and a larger font to separate sections of the document. The goal is to make it scannable, not just by a computer program (applicant tracking systems), but by humans, too. No one wants to search for your information.

Be clear about job titles

So long as you are not exaggerating, use a job title that will make clear what you did at a previous organization. Sometimes, organizations have internal titles that mean nothing on the outside. So, if you were a “Level II Tech Support,” change that out to “Systems Analyst,” if that was what your position really entailed.

Be really brief

Do not use full sentences unless you are crafting a CV (These are prose documents). Brief phrases only, please. Remember – scannable.

Perfect grammar and spelling

Don’t rely only on grammar and spell-check programs. They will not recognize incorrect numbers or words that are wrong but are still words. And, in some instances misspellings will not be caught either. If you are really good in this area, read your resume backwards, and you will catch misspellings; read it forward line-by-line. If you are not highly skilled, get someone who is.

Avoid gimmicks

Having your resume hand-delivered by FedEx or courier is not appreciated, and, in fact, is a bit of a turnoff. Just don’t do it. Submit your resume according to the instructions on the job posting.

Graphics should fit the company culture

It is more acceptable today to use some color and graphics than in the past, but these resumes are best suited for younger, more progressive organizations. Tailor color and graphics based upon the culture of the company. If you are not sure, check the website. As a general rule, banks, financial, and educational/scientific institutions are conservative; tech and marketing companies are more progressive. For creative positions, graphics are certainly suitable.

Never state salary

Never include past salaries in your work experience. And absolutely never include your salary or benefit requirements for a new position. Epic fail if you do.

Don’t address negatives

If you were fired or laid off, never state this in your resume. That is the stuff for discussion during an interview. And don’t lie about it either; be as honest as possible, and never “trash” a former boss or company.

Add links

Long before submitting resumes, it will be important to have a professional online presence. Include the link to your LinkedIn profile and, if warranted, a website with a portfolio of your work and/or accomplishments. If you have been a guest blogger on relevant sites, provide links to those posts too.

Update consistently

It is often advised when you start a new position, you begin updating your resume. This is because you want to be sure to remember all of your accomplishments if and when you decide to make another career move, or if, for any reason, your employment is terminated (companies do close). Keep your resume updated all the time.

No tag lines

Lines such as “References available upon request,” are not necessary and just take up space. Leave them out. If you are asked for references or links to things during an interview, you can provide them at that time.

Do not abbreviate

The only abbreviation you can use is “U.S.” Otherwise, spell everything out. Even abbreviations for schools attended may not be known by employers. The rule for acronyms is the same; spell them out.

This article provides a good checklist for job seekers, whether they are crafting their first resumes ever or if they are veterans with several previous resumes under their belts. Sometimes, it’s the little things that can make a difference.

Need assistance with your resume for your job search? Get a free resume critique on College Recruiter. Also, come to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Kerry Creaswood, guest writer

Kerry Creaswood, guest writer

Kerry Creaswood is a young and ambitious writer from Savannah, Georgia. She is fond of various forms of art and thinks everything we can imagine is real. To find more about Kerry, check her Twitter.

Posted March 11, 2016 by

LinkedIn tip #5: Rich media content

What is rich media content, and will sharing it on your LinkedIn profile really help you in your job search?

This article and video, featuring expert Chaim Shapiro, will answer that question.

Over the next two weeks, College Recruiter is publishing 10 LinkedIn tips. Today’s video, tip #5, is hosted by Bethany Wallace, Content Manager for College Recruiter. Chaim Shapiro, Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College and social media consultant, offers college students, recent graduates, and other job seekers tips about including rich media content in their LinkedIn profiles.


If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

Chaim Shapiro encourages LinkedIn users to add rich media content, including hyperlinks to published content on websites, slideshares of PowerPoint presentations, documents such as resumes, and YouTube videos to their LinkedIn profiles. Whatever claims LinkedIn users make in the summary section of their profiles, they should back up with rich media content.

Shapiro reminds users that other LinkedIn connections will only be able to view the top five items of rich media content in the summary section unless they click “see more”; users can choose which five are presented at the top of the summary section and should think strategically about placement.

For more of Chaim Shapiro’s top 10 LinkedIn tips, subscribe to College Recruiter’s YouTube channel and follow College Recruiter on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Chaim Shapiro, M.Ed. is the Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College, a freelance writer, public speaker and social media consultant specializing in LinkedIn. He has presented his popular LinkedIn Workshop at National Conferences, Universities, Public Libraries and for communal organizations across the country. Chaim earned a Master’s Degree in College Student Personnel from Loyola University, Chicago, and also studied in the Institutional Leadership and Policy Studies Ph.D. program at the University of California, Riverside Graduate School of Education. He has more than 12 years of experience working in college administration.

Posted March 10, 2016 by

LinkedIn tip #4: Contact information

To share or not to share contact information on LinkedIn?

This video and article will answer that question.

Whether you’re a new LinkedIn user or a pro, expert Chaim Shapiro, Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College and award-winning social media consultant, will help you improve your LinkedIn profile. This short video and article is part 4 in a 10-part series, Top 10 LinkedIn tips with Chaim Shapiro, for college students, recent graduates, and job seekers who want to improve their LinkedIn profiles while searching for jobs and networking online.

This video, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager Bethany Wallace, provides an overview of options for sharing various pieces of personal contact information on LinkedIn.


If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

Shapiro emphasizes the importance of providing basic contact information on LinkedIn when job searching and networking online. For example, job seekers might want to provide their email addresses or even phone numbers but not their mailing addresses for privacy purposes. Shapiro also encourages job seekers to share links to other websites, including personal websites and Twitter accounts, to maximize social networking opportunities and business opportunities.

Shapiro believes it’s a good idea to include adequate contact information. Contact information is visible to your connections and is viewable in your summary on LinkedIn (which can be included on your public profile). If recruiters and talent acquisition professionals search for you on LinkedIn, they can easily contact you without having to pay to send you an InMail message through LinkedIn if your email address or other contact information is viewable and readily available on LinkedIn.

For more of Chaim Shapiro’s top 10 LinkedIn tips, subscribe to College Recruiter’s YouTube channel, follow College Recruiter’s blog, and follow College Recruiter on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Chaim Shapiro, M.Ed. is the Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College, a freelance writer, public speaker and social media consultant specializing in LinkedIn. He has presented his popular LinkedIn Workshop at National Conferences, Universities, Public Libraries and for communal organizations across the country. Chaim earned a Master’s Degree in College Student Personnel from Loyola University, Chicago, and also studied in the Institutional Leadership and Policy Studies Ph.D. program at the University of California, Riverside Graduate School of Education. He has more than 12 years of experience working in college administration.

Posted July 17, 2015 by

Write your Own Research Paper or Hire Professional Services?

Male student happy about research results from the internet

Male student happy about research results from the internet. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

College recruiting starts with writing a good research paper. Why is it so? Because each student needs to write one or more research papers in order to complete their master’s or bachelor’s degrees and graduate.

Choosing to Write your Own Research Paper

Writing a good research paper is not an easy task. Students often push their luck and wait till the last minute to start working on their paper. However, by following some simple guidelines, you can write a proficient research paper and submit it on time. (more…)

Posted April 16, 2015 by

Own the Room at Your Next Networking Event as a Student, Intern and Recent Graduate

Networking Event words on a wall calendar to remind you of the day or date for a business meeting, celebration, conference or seminar

Networking Event words on a wall calendar to remind you of the day or date for a business meeting, celebration, conference or seminar. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

We live in a busy world, and college students are no exception. Today’s young adults have hectic schedules and are often times running between classes, work, extracurricular activities and social time with friends. It may seem tough to fit one more thing into this schedule, however, it is important to make time for networking as well. Networking will help you to gain experience now and will be beneficial in the long run for your career. As a student, intern or recent graduate, it can be intimidating to stand in a room full of unfamiliar faces that have more professional experience than you do. Here are a few quick tips to help you own the room and stand out like a pro at your next networking event. (more…)

Posted December 16, 2014 by

Entry Level Students: Ways to Boost Your Job Prospects even With No Experience

Cheerful young volunteers with garbage bag after cleaning the streets

Cheerful young volunteers with garbage bag after cleaning the streets. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

For anyone approaching college graduation looking to step straight into the world of work, it’s surely about time you began an active job search. However, as many of you begin writing your first resume, you may start to feel that a lack of professional experience is going to jeopardize your chances of landing an interview.

Job-hunting with minimal experience has always been difficult, regardless of the economic climate, and with record levels of graduates entering the American job market, your concerns are well founded. However, it’s not all bad news. The growth of websites like LinkedIn now offer new ways in which you can network within a specific industry, and a plethora of job board websites also help open the door to more job openings than ever before. If you prepare well and do the right things early on, it’s quite possible to land a really great job fresh out of college. However, this preparation means taking immediate action to gain the experience you need, along with writing an inspirational resume that a fairly represents your potential as an applicant. (more…)

Posted October 27, 2014 by

The Most Effective Method to Compose a Resume Job Summary

Hand writing Summary with blue marker on transparent wipe board

Hand writing Summary with blue marker on transparent wipe board. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

It is very essential to produce enthusiasm with a High-Affect Summary Explanation and declaration. Recruiting superiors are busy entities all over the world. It is certain that every single job posting may draw in a great attraction to many resumes. To get perceived, make the best profession summary proclamation. The objective of this area in your CV is to create a hard-hitting preliminary statement filled with your most looked for abilities, competencies, achievements and qualities. You could utilize the objective segment part in your resume to present your detailed career summary covering all the dominant and major areas of your expertise.

A resume without a summary or outline is like a body with no heart. Summary has a direct relationship with your resume. Well here are few steps to make a charming career summary for effective outcomes, when it’s lying beside many career resumes at a recruiter’s desk. (more…)

Posted August 15, 2014 by

Writing Your Resume for an Entry Level Job? Would You Be this Honest?

When writing your resume for an entry level job, being honest is important.  Check out the following post, and ask yourself you would be just as truthful.

Let’s be honest: only a very small percentage of resumes accurately depict someone’s full career and life experience. Everyone has little bits to hide. And, in some cases, a lot to embellish. Some of that embellishment is tolerated, even accepted as normal. After all, a resume is a marketing document – not

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Posted July 02, 2014 by

College Students, Writing Resumes to Apply for Jobs? Make Sure to Customize Them

When applying for jobs with their resumes, it’s important for college students to customize them for each opportunity.  Get some tips on tailoring resumes in the following post.

Customizing your resume for each opportunity is not optional in most situations. Resume/application customization is becoming increasingly important now that most resumes and applications are stored in an employer’s resume database or applicant tracking system (“ATS”). In addition, several recent studies have indicated that the human reviewer – if/when they

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Posted June 27, 2014 by

College Students, Is LinkedIn Not Working in Your Search for Jobs? 2 Mistakes You’re Making

For college students searching for jobs on LinkedIn without much success, the following post identifies two mistakes that are holding them back.

In the LinkedIn Group I run, I asked members to share any LinkedIn success stories they had, and many job seekers made comments that were fairly negative. I was surprised and not surprised at the same time, particularly when I looked at the Profiles of the members who were very negative

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