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How to Write the Perfect Resume

Use the right keywords.

Business InsiderPeplow says that "you must put some of the keywords from the job posting into your resume, or it will probably never be seen by human eyes."

This is because a lot of companies use online recruitment tools to sift through resumes, writes Lauren Weber in The Wall Street Journal.

Barbara Safani of CareerSolvers suggests using LinkedIn's skills section to find the keywords that would most likely be used in a company's search query database. To do this, click on the "More" tab in your LinkedIn profile and enter a type of skill or description into the search box. This will result in a list of related skills popping up, which you can use as keywords on your resume.

Only include relevant work experience.

Business InsiderKeep your resume focused and don't include every single job you've ever had.

Eve Tahmincioglu at MSNBC writes: "In this economy, there’s a good chance a long-term job seeker has a part-time job (or jobs) under his or her belt just to make ends meet. But that doesn’t mean you should include every burger flipping, or retail-selling job you’ve had. Putting too many of those jobs on your resume, especially if they have nothing to do with the job you want, can hurt your chances of landing a new position."

“Resumes are a summary of the most important data,” Debra Feldman, a job search expert, tells Tahmincioglu. “In my opinion, a part-time job just to pay the bills would not fall into that category."

Peplow tells us that even if you have minimal work experience, this doesn’t mean that you have nothing to offer. Highlight your transferable skills, which are the ones that you can use from one job to the next — regardless of the position.

Use bullet points to list responsibilities and accomplishments.

Business InsiderUnder each job or experience you've had, list your responsibilities and accomplishments in no more than three to five bullet points, writes Jasper Anson in AskMen.

And don't use full sentences.

Liz Wolgemuth at U.S.News & World Report writes: "[Compare] the process to flipping through a jumbo-size magazine. Readers don't spend a lot of time on each page. Full sentences are, quite simply, too time consuming in today's hiring world."

Put a number to your accomplishments.

Business InsiderYour resume is for experience and accomplishments only. It's not the place for subjective traits, like "great leadership skills" or "creative innovator, says Alison Green in U.S.News & World Report.

You should always try to quantify your accomplishments.

Suzanne Lucas at CBS Moneywatch writes: "Some departments have 1 person, and some have 350. Quantify yours. "Managed a department of 12 analysts" is a lot stronger than "Managed a department." Did you have budget responsibilities? "Managed a $2.3 Million budget" is very different from "Managed a $75,000 budget." How many clients did you juggle? 1, 2, 25? Quantify."

If you can't put a number on what you've done, try linking the impact of your projects to the company's "point of sales." For example, if you were in charge of creating a marketing campaign on Facebook, show that you were able to reach the company's target market without having to spend the money that is usually spent on advertising.

"Basically, if you can't prove that you have sales, you can prove that you saved the company money by reducing marketing expenses," Roderick Lewis, international relations director, ISCTE Business School, University Institute of Lisbon, tells us.

Keep information about your education as short as possible.


Business InsiderInclude only relevant education information: the name of your college, your degree, and the year you graduated.

Susan Adams writes in Forbes that experienced workers should include their education at the end of their resumes. If you're a new graduate, you should consider including a list of course work that's relevant to the position you're applying for.

And don't even think about listing your high school education and activities — unless you're under 20 and "have no education or training beyond high school," according to Tracy Burns-Martin's book "Before and After Resumes."

Use a chronological resume format.

Business InsiderThe chronological resume — which is really reverse-chronological — is the format most often used. On the other hand, a functional resume doesn't include a chronological job history, but instead focuses on skills and abilities.

"Many hiring managers, me included, hate [functional resumes],"  Alison Green writes in her blog "Ask A Manager." She says: "Generally, the first thing I think when I see them is, 'What is this candidate trying to hide?' That’s because people tend to use functional resumes when they’re trying to hide an employment gap, or job-hopping, or outdated skills (because it matters if your Web design experience is from 10 years ago or one year ago), or other things I’d rather know about. And if I do remain interested in the candidate, the first thing I’m going to do when I talk to them is ask them to walk me through their job history, with dates — and it’s going to annoy me that I have to, and if I have other good candidates I may not even bother."

If you've been unemployed for a while and you're afraid a chronological resume format will work against you, include any volunteer work you did during this gap and use it as an asset, writes Burns-Martin in her book.

Don't reveal everything.

The goal of the resume is to get you an interview with the company.

Therefore, you shouldn't reveal everything about yourself in the resume — just enough to get the hiring manager's attention, Peplow tells us.

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