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When you submit a resume to a professional job, you summarize your skills, accomplishments, education, and goals on a single sheet of paper.  It’s a challenge.  But it’s crucial to get right – and to ensure that the details express your ability to work in a professional setting.

Here are eight details to triple-check before sending your resume to an employer:

  1. Be mindful of page count. A study by TheLadders found that the average hiring manager spends only six seconds reading a resume before deciding whether to hang onto or reject it. Keep your resume to one or two pages by focusing on the skills, abilities, and accomplishments that show you’re capable of doing this job well.
  2. List your mobile number. Instead of listing your home phone, list your cell phone. Hiring managers want to know you’re readily available – and when you list your mobile number, they know you’ll pick up no matter where you are.  You’ll also have control over who answers and who checks the voicemail.
  3. Create a professional online profile – and include the URL in your resume. In one Jobvite survey, 93 percent of hiring managers said they search for a candidate’s online profile. LinkedIn makes it easy to include your job history, examples of your best work, and positive references and recommendations from co-workers and employers.  Before you send your resume, make sure your LinkedIn presence is solid.
  4. Skip the objective. “Objective” sections describe what you want, but they don’t answer an employer’s number-one question: “How does hiring this person benefit us?” Instead, use this space to explain what you’re best at and how you can provide value to the employer and the business.  Label this section “Professional Summary.”
  5. Use (consistent) white space and headers. Professional resumes need to be clean, consistent, and easy to read. White space between paragraphs, bullet points, and headers need to match one another throughout the document.  Have someone else read over the resume – a fresh pair of eyes can often catch mistakes you might have missed.
  6. Stick to the present. If you’re seeking an entry-level position in a professional office, skip high school and start with your most relevant recent work. If you’re moving upward, list no more than the most recent 15 years of experience.  Focus on what you accomplished and how you did it.
  7. Focus on what you achieved. Similar positions at similar companies come with similar job duties. At some companies, if you’re waiting for a supervisor to reward you for your work, you’ll be waiting a long time.  Instead, on your resume, focus on what you accomplished in your day-to-day work.  If you performed certain tasks better than anyone else, or had stronger communication skills, list specific times you came out ahead – even if you didn’t get the raise or promotion you deserved as a result.
  8. Delete the “references upon request” line. Hiring managers know that if they ask, you’ll give them your references. This line is wasting valuable space on your resume and it looks unprofessional.  Delete it and use the space to talk about your accomplishments instead.

At ExecuTeam, our experienced staffing partners can help you ensure that your resume highlights the skills and accomplishments that will help you land the job you’re looking for.  Contact us today to learn more about our career opportunities in the Gulf Coast region.

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