Avoid Resume Rejection

By: pmegan
You can't afford to have your resume trashed just because you didn't understand the basic rules for a successful resume and suffer "resume rejection!"

Your resume is often the very first contact a decision-maker has with you. So, it better be a blockbuster! You better make a big impression. And fast! Otherwise your prized resume is headed for the waste basket.

Resume rejection starts with a misunderstanding about what a resume can do for you. First of all, a resume doesn't get you a job. Only decisions by hiring managers can get you a job. Therefore, the best a resume can do for you is getting a hiring manager's attention. And that's how it has to be written.

If you think you're going to get ahead by loading up your resume with every conceivable detail about your work history, you just lost. Resumes are first scanned in less that 50 seconds. If something pops off the page to grab the reader's attention, then your resume may survive the first test. It gets put on the "keeper" stack for later review and more careful reading.

The very first rule of a successful resume is that it must be readily scanable in 50 seconds or less. Do NOT write more than two pages. And make them very readable with wide margins and good spacing.

The second rule is that your resume must have a headline. It's a lot like reading a newspaper. You're attracted to an article if there's a headline that grabs your attention. The same is true of a resume. Your headline is an attention-grabbing statement that states very directly what you have to offer the reader.

The third rule is to avoid an "objective statement." This self-serving announcement has little or no meaning to a decision-maker. He/she could care less about what you're looking to get out of this job. The reader is interested in learning only two things: what can you do for my bottom line? . . . And what can you do to make my job easier?

Instead of an objective statement you want to make a "summary statement" in which you lay out in assertive language what you bring to the table that can make a difference.

There are many more pointers that can help you improve your resume and give it a stronger impact. But if you observe these three basic rules you'll survive the first big test and avoid resume rejection.
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