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Resume 911: Rewrite, Repair and Get Results

What does it really take to get noticed by recruiters? What message does your resume need to convey?

As the New Year is approaching, this is the time to review your current resume, improve errors and eliminate bad grammar or useless content that is not effective. Get ready to submit your resume to companies with growing hiring needs.

This year I have reviewed hundreds of candidate resumes that are gasping for breath and heading to the resume graveyard. Perhaps you are wondering where the last resume submitted is resting on the desk of recruiters, no one has respect for poorly written resumes. Frankly, recruiters will never call you on the phone to inform you that your resume was tossed in the trash because it lacks experience details, relevant employment history and education or keywords and phrases related to the position you are applying for.

Here are a few tips to help you revive and repair your resume before the New Year.

• Tip #1 Eliminate photos or images.

At a recent job fair I met a former restaurant manager with school bus images at the header of his resume. I asked him what position he had interest in; he said “production.” His resume highlighted ten years of experience in sales and volunteering, with no mention of restaurant, management or production employment history. I asked him to explain his experience in the production career field, he informed me that he was a supervisor at General Motors before the manufacturing crisis. Curious about the school bus images I asked if he had experience in transportation; he replied “no”.

It is important to understand your resume is never accompanied with explanations when submitted online, faxed or emailed. The wrong message can determine if you are considered for an interview or tossed aside.

Recruiters want to receive a resume that is relevant to the position they are hiring for. Do customize your resume to show you have experience in exactly what the recruiter is seeking. The best way to get noticed is to trigger the recruiter interest by using keywords and phrases in your resume from the job description.

It is unnecessary to dress up your resume with nice borders, images, colorful or fancy fonts.

• Tip #2 Put education first.

Tucked at the bottom of the standard resume is a degree that deserves placement at the top of your resume. The average recruiter is looking for candidates with education credentials, certifications or workshop training. Do reverse the format of your resume adding education before employment history.

• Tip #3 Search optimize your resumes.

Ever wonder where your resume lands after you apply for positions online? Most employers have applicant tracking systems to sort incoming resumes. This system is similar to how Google and Yahoo search sites shown and rank content based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. The applicant tracking system allows recruiters to search for candidates qualified for their job openings, using search terms that should be found in your resume. I highly recommend you design your resume to optimize on the web and job board search engines. If the employer is hiring a Metal Fabricator with welding techniques, metallurgy, and engineering knowledge, it is important to add the proper position title to your resume and keywords. Start by searching the Giantjobs.net job board for the job title “metal fabricator.” You will notice some employers will refer to this position as a “manufacturing welder” or “mig welder”. Do review the position descriptions on the job board, make a list of keywords that appear frequently and add keywords to your resume for search optimization.

• Tip #4 Check your email frequently.

Hiring companies are using email to communicate with applicants, do add an active professional email address to your resume. If you have a smartphone check your emails frequently. Many candidates are missing drug test appointments, employment testing and interview opportunities because they are not actively check their email account.

Good Luck, Happy Job Hunting!

CJ Eason is The Job Doctor. She is a recruiter, resume repair expert and director of community outreach for JobFairGiant.com. Email jobdoctor@jobfairgiant.com.

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