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September is “International Update Your Resume Month!”
by Robin Ryan

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September has been declared "International Update Your Resume Month" to focus all workers on being pro-active and making sure they have a current resume that demonstrates their recent accomplishments and skills.

Your resume gets a 15 second glance according our national survey of human resources personnel and hiring managers. I’ve worked with clients for over twenty years and I’ve written over 5000 resumes and hired hundreds of people personally so I’ve seen most of the errors job hunters make that torpedo their resume.

In today’s competitive job market, your resume has to be a door opener. Here are five ways to make your resume get employers' attention.  

  1. Emphasize RESULTS! Employers empathetically stress that demonstrating the results you achieved matters the most in getting noticed. Lace your resume with the accomplishments you achieved in past positions. Show the impact you had and your productivity by including details concerning money earned or time or dollars saved. Use numbers to reflect, how much, how many, and percentage of gain or reduction.
  2. Use KEYWORDS! Many employers sort resumes electronically, so resume selection is dependent on the keywords contained in your resume. Make a list of the "buzz words" connected to perform your type of job. Look through employers' job ads to uncover the major ones. Incorporate these keywords into the sentences describing your previous work experience.
  3. Target the RESUME. Be specific and clearly show you meet the requirements of the job you are applying to. Employers search quickly and skim to see you can do a CERTAIN job—and they will trash any resume that isn't geared to the position applying for. ( TIP: you may need to have more than one resume if you target different positions i.e. one for Project Manager, another resume when you apply for Systems Analyst)
  4. Limit Resume to TWO pages. Employers are primarily interested in worked done in the last 5-7 years no matter what level position the candidate applied for. State results and say exactly what you mean, using the smallest number of words to make the point. Be a skillful editor, deleting anything not relevant or helpful to your securing that particular position and at the level you seek.
  5. USE ACTION VERBS. Never use "I" on the resume. Start each sentence with a descriptive action verb - such as directed, organized, established, created, planned, etc. Short impact sentences demonstrating what you have done gather more attention.

Career Counselor Robin Ryan provides individual career counseling, job search, resume writing and interview coaching services to clients nationwide. The bestselling author of 60 Seconds & You’re Hired!; Winning Resumes;Winning Cover Letters;Soaring On Your Strengths; What to Do with the Rest of Your Life; and Over 40 & You’re Hired, Robin Ryan has appeared on over 1000 TV and radio shows including: Oprah, Dr. Phil, Fox News, and CNN. Website: 

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