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How to Write a Resume Better Than Your Competition
Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Considering the recently avoided plunge over the "fiscal cliff," our economy is still hanging onto hope for a seamless recovery. Job seekers know more than any others that this recovery couldn't come soon enough. With how slow the job market has been picking up, the amount of competition out there still remains overwhelmingly high compared to the availability of open positions.

As resumes continue to pile up for the few jobs out there, the process of picking out qualified candidates has become increasingly automated. Job seekers are constantly being bombarded with mixed messages of how to effectively construct their resumes. While some are told to cater their wording and format to appeal to a machine scanning for keywords, otherwise will focus on shining the spotlight solely on their personalities. The best resume, however, will be the perfect balance of each.

Here are three resume tips to have your resume come out on the top of the stack and make your job search more productive:

1) Get inspiration from the job description
One of the first places to turn to when putting together your resume is the job description and requirements. Extract keywords and skills and include them on your resume. It's protocol for hiring managers to give resumes a quick skim so you'll want to have words in your qualifications that the manager (or a computer) will be looking for. 

2) Create compelling content
The skills and accomplishments you highlight on your resume reflect your competence as a professional in your field. You'll want to direct your focus on the details of what you did rather than what was expected to give clear examples of your work. Try to provide numbers and percentages that measure the quality of your achievements.

3) Clean up your copy
Whether reviewed by human eyes or a computer, misspellings and typos will lower your resume to the bottom of the pile. When recruiters have more reason to reject resumes due to high volumes, you don't want the tiniest mistake be the reason yours gets put aside. Unless you're job search is within the creative arts field, your resume should not incorporate too many graphics. It's also not very appropriate include photos, bright colors, or images even if you think they will add some flair to your resume.

The most important parts of your resume and cover letters that should stick out are the words you use and how well you use them. Communication is the key to getting attention from hiring managers. Remember, they all love a good story and good stories tend to have the same core elements. Keeping these tips in mind your resume could finally give you a shot at landing the job that lets you live happily ever after.