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Resume Tips to Get You Noticed

Whether you are applying for college or applying for a job, skillful resume editing determines whether your name surfaces or sinks in the applicant pool.

Amidst particularly tough economic times, a carefully crafted resume stands out among a sea of contenders.  Your resume positions you for further consideration in the application process. To boost your resume's chances of staying afloat, you may want to consider using a resume service. Professional resume writers can breathe new life into your qualifications with a resume review focusing on CPR:  Customization, Presentation, and Relevance.

Making Your Resume a Hit

Today it is likely your resume will be scanned electronically, then filtered and scored for relevance before it is appraised by an employer or admission's counselor.  This is assuming your resume even gets to this "human" review stage.  ResumeEdge, a leading resume service, reports up to 80 percent of employers now use keyword-scanning technology to pre-screen applicants.

By computer scanning resumes for keywords, they can sort through volumes of applications quickly and efficiently, relegating resumes that do not fit the required profile to the "thanks-but-no-thanks" pile.

Customizing Content

Any resume can be keyword optimized to set it apart from the pack. The trick is to know what keywords to use and how to use them effectively and judiciously. Analyzing a school's admission's qualification guidelines or researching an employer's job postings may yield clues to results-oriented "buzzwords"; however, you should carefully select words that suit your resume qualifications. The keyword process could backfire if reviewers suspect you are simply telling them what they want to hear.

Your resume's Qualifications Summary section provides a good place for keywords. This section replaces the outdated Objective Statement, which focused more on what you wanted than what you can offer.  A Qualifications Summary spotlights your strongest skills and experiences with quantifiable examples, stressing numbers that enumerate dollar figures and percentages. This section should grab the reader's attention and encourage them to read further.

Presenting Yourself on Paper

Since you won't get a chance to present yourself face-to-face unless your resume passes initial scrutiny, you want your paper introduction to make a good first impression. Viewing sample resumes can give you a feel for how effective resumes are structured. Font selection and white space are two important elements to consider.

Unless you are applying to the circus, resist the temptation to use colorful or artistic fonts. Instead, opt for traditional black Times New Roman or Arial fonts of at least 11 points. It generally is advisable to keep your resume to one page, but don't cram it with so much information that it looks like a novel. Proper use of white space and an appealing structure emphasize key areas in your resume and induce reviewers to read more.

Focusing on Relevance

With the ease of filing online, employers and admissions offices often receive more resumes than they can handle. Because keyword scanning eliminates many applications from consideration, one-size-fits-all resumes often go unnoticed. Therefore, it is important to tailor your resume to fit the occasion. This may result in you having to create several different resumes, but the extra effort required to focus on relevant skills and experiences will help your resume stand apart from the crowd and get you in the door.

Online Education: A Key Differentiator

Doing the above can and will strengthen your resume when it is stacked up against the competition; however, noting that you have completed an online degree program will further differentiate you from other potential candidates.  Not only will this provide a key value-add that you bring to the position, an online degree will also demonstrate that you are proactive and aligned with the times.  Since online education is currently booming, showing that you are a member of the online learning community can only help your cause by increasing the breadth of knowledge you bring to the table.