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10 Smart Ways to Add Value to Your Professional Resume in 2019 (Plus 10 No-Nos!)

Posted by Larissa Sudom on

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It is definitely time to give your old stale resume a fresh cleaning and we have some awesome & smart new tips to land your professional resume on the top of that resume pile. You only have a moment to grab the attention of your future boss and now is a great time to take hold of your life and seize the career you deserve.

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1) Make a striking first impression.

If you have 100+ resumes to review, it’s easy to automatically throw out ugly, difficult to read resumes. A standout resume template is sharp, clear, and has a modern style. An old out-dated resume will show a recruiter that you are lacking in ideas and creativity. The design must pack a wow factor and keep a professional edge.

A professional resume example of this: 

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professional resume template

2. Coherent fonts are a must.

Your professional resume must be absolutely easy to read. A bad font equals a lack of professionalism. The easiest way is to stick with standard fonts. Standard fonts ARE standard because they are legible. If your resume cannot be read or is written with a fancy or strange font, it’s a no-brainer DISCARD. There might be a little wiggle room for your name title in a more stylized font but be careful that it can be read easily.

A professional resume example of this:

3. Sell it, don’t tell it! Use bullets for your accomplishments.

Do not just list off things in your resume  - which will give your resume a generic boring *yawn*. A professional resume will add depth to each bullet accomplishment. So how do you make a bold statement for each resume bullet?

For each resume bullet, make it an accomplishment and not a task. Show the impact that you have made with your accomplishment. There is an easy breakdown to follow. This resume formula is a simple solution to follow with each resume bullet:

Work Accomplished “A” as measured by “B” by doing “C  

A professional resume example of this: 

  • Increased clientele satisfaction rate from 60% to 90% by integrating new systematic of point sale which led to an internal management promotion.

4. QUANTIFY, QUANTIFY, QUANTIFY.

    Now we need something that will really make your resume a professional knockout. Indisputably, something that will get your shoe in the interview door will be adding NUMBERS to your resume. Numbers are what will sell you as a qualified candidate and will certainly highlight your professional aptitude.

    Learn more about quantifying your numbers HERE 

    A professional resume example of this:

    • New sales platforms which I implemented led to an increase in production with ~5 fewer labor hours needed per day - currently saves the company $50,000+ annually. These platform developments lead to my management promotion.

    5. Keep Your "ABOUT ME" Section.

       Despite what you might hear, this section is an important insight into who you on a professional level. It allows a recruiter a bit of a more personal glance. Work culture is really important nowadays and this is one way to show that you can really fit in. One thing to note about this section – keep it semi-relevant to your work. For instance, being fit and active can be important to any workplace, especially if your work is physically demanding. Activities like volunteering show a positive pro-active attitude. Try to stay away from things that would not matter towards the job for which you are applying. For example:  If you like to bake cookies and you are applying to be a mechanical engineer, maybe it’s best to leave it out! Smart add-ons in your professional resume will really help shine a positive light on your application.

      6. Less is MORE.

      Be selective. Restrict the information on your professional resume to your utmost important accomplishments. This gives you room to elaborate or expand on things further at the interview. This will also allow your resume to keep an attractive and readable format.

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      7. Keywords are Extraordinarily Valuable.

        This is indisputable, keywords are the focal points of your professional resume. Critical keywords will correlate directly to the job advertisement or posting and are the first things that a recruiter will look for. Keep your keywords as close as you can to the companies objectives and needs. Keywords should match to your cover letter as well. Keep your keywords synchronized all around.

        8. And just who the heck did you work for?

          A short description of your previous company is much more important than you think. Do not expect a recruiter to know that you previously worked for a reputable, worthy company. A brief one or two sentence description to help in understanding the company you previously worked for can certainly impress.

          9. Send your professional resume away with a clear file name.

            First, check the job description for the proper resume file naming. If they have not specified, always make sure to put your “FIRST NAME”, “LAST NAME”, and the “JOB TITLE” for which you are applying. You may also include the “COMPANY NAME”. Keep this uniform with your cover letter or any other documents or demo reels. Spacing with underscores is the general norm for separating the words.  

            A professional resume example of this:

            Mary_Smith_Dressmaker_Resume.PDF

            Mary_Smith_Dressmaker_Resume_CompanyName.PDF 

            9. Professional email = professional resume. 

            Don’t forget to use a professional email for your awesome resume. All of your bases must be covered and these are the small details that will affect if your resume is a professional one.

              Under no circumstances should your resume be sent by a:

              Girlyumbrella563**ahor@hotmail.com or a beardycat**g@yahoo.com

               

              10 RESUME NO-NO’S

              1)  Lying on your resume. This is really the worst thing you can do, for yourself and for the company. If caught, you could potentially ruin your career and reputation. It is always best for you to tell the truth on your resume – just be selective and positive.

              2)  Keep your age, marital status, religious beliefs, and sexual preferences OFF your resume. Mentioning these on your resume could possibly spell trouble in the end. It opens up a whole Pandora’s box for the company and they will likely ignore and discard your resume. 

              3)  No need to mention employment gaps on your professional resume. You can always provide this information during the interview. Gaps are very common and most employers are used to seeing them.

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              4) Submitting a generic resume. This creates the possibility that you have handed it out to dozens of different companies. Companies know this and are demanding more now. Especially with the competition today, you need to show that you really want to work there and have done all of your homework. It is always better to make each resume more professional by focusing on the resume for each specific company. This means that you should research the company. Go on the company website and match their objectives and needs to your own. Load up your resume with keywords found on their site or job posting.

              5)  Reference information. Do not attach a reference sheet to your resume unless requested and do not put “References Upon Request” on your resume. This is not necessary. You can provide references only if a company asks for them.

              6)  Keep everything short and concise - bullets, bullets, bullets - keeping each one direct and to the point. Avoid a narrative. This is the most powerful way to write your professional resume.

              7)  Do not use complicated jargon unless it is directly related to the job for which you are applying. Your resume should be understood by the recruiter or possible future employer.

              8)  Do not shift tenses within your resume. For a professional resume, the resume should only be in one tense throughout.

              9)  Never include specific information from previous employers. This includes street address, or co-workers names, or even reasons why you left. This should never be mentioned in a professional resume.

              10)  The number one worst mistake!? Submitting your resume without a spell or grammar check is definitely not professional in any way. Not just one check, but you need 2, 3, 4, or more. When you are spell and grammar checking, read your resume out loud. Also, if possible have your resume reviewed by a professional writer.

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