Whether you get a job or are being sent back into the world of unemployment can depend on many variables. A resume provides job seekers with a tool that can be used to win interviews and increase chances of getting a job. This tool can be highly effective in performing its purpose, or a complete waste of paper. Here are some resume suggestions to enable job seekers to develop a tool capable of getting themselves on the radars of hiring managers and employers.

Resume Do’s

List Accomplishments: A resume is viewed on average for only 10 to 15 seconds. Resumes must include an accomplishments section or a selected contributions section below each employer listed in a work experience section. Accomplishments can be better illustrated if quantified. A sales executive who stated he performed within the top 5% of account managers while contributing over 1 million dollars in annual sales, highlights a great accomplishment. By including this information, he sparks an interest in the hiring manager and sets himself apart from other candidates.

Use a Core Competencies Section: By incorporating strengths that are related to the desired position, it will provide quick access to work qualifications as well as computer optimize a resume for use by applicant tracking systems and resume databases. This can be the difference between an applicant tracking system filtering out a resume and approving a resume for further review.

Use Action Words: These powerful words more effectively illustrate the ability to get the job done by creating engaging resume documents; they showcase how contributions to previous employers have made a direct impact. For example a responsibility that reads “arranged meetings for company staff” can be enhanced by revising it to “facilitated meetings to strategize growth solutions and company initiatives.”

Use a Professional Summary Section: This section is considered one of the most important components of a resume due to it being on the first section of a resume. This section, as well as a cover letter, provides the first impression. An engaging professional summary section should always be used instead of an objective section unless the job seeker is just entering the workforce, re-entering the workforce after an extended absence, or changing careers.

Use Job Posting Qualifications: A resume should be reflective of what is required in the job posting it is responding to. A job seeker should review all qualifications listed in a considered job posting, and ask themselves if these qualifications are listed in the resume.

Resume Don’ts

Not Role Specific: Resumes should not be written for a general audience. They should be targeted for a specific position or industry that is desired. Within 5 seconds a hiring manager should know the specialty of the candidate being considered for employment.

Spelling Mistakes: A candidate should always get someone to review their resume after it has been written. Once a hiring manager or employer finds a spelling error on a resume, chances are he or she will stop reading the resume.

Inappropriate Length: There is no such thing as a one-page resume rule. A resume should be as long as required to communicate qualifications and accomplishments.

Unattractive Formats: The best resumes formats consist of 1-inch margins along the side of the page, and utilize bullets only to bring attention to accomplishments. Font size should be no smaller than 11pt.

Using Casual Language: Resumes should never use first person plural, or words such as “I” “my” or “we”.

By incorporate effective resume writing techniques a job seeker can increase their chances of getting an interview. The job market is very competitive and filled with many individuals with similar skills and strengths. But with the right resume, a job candidate can illustrate their similar skills in an engaging and powerful format, resulting in receiving interviews over their competition.