Make your resume pop

At McKinney-Cerne Inc., we believe a well-crafted professional resume is still the best way to land an interview for your dream job despite emerging promotional websites such as LinkedIn.

Now, creating a great resume isn’t exactly rocket science, but, over the years, we’ve seen many professionals (especially young professionals) struggle to produce a decent resume.

The facts are these: Great resumes get interviews. Great interviews get jobs. Great jobs lead to success. Subtract the great resume, and you’re left with nada.

So we’ve composed a few very simple tips to help you create a great resume:

1. Keep it short. A one-page resume is all a recent graduate or young professional needs. Two pages is the longest any resume should be, even if you’ve been in the business for 30 years.

2. Put relevant work first. We’ve found that it’s easiest to divide your work into “relevant experience” and “other.” If you’re applying for an account executive position, we want to know what work you’ve done that qualifies you as an account executive firstly. We’d also like to know what else you’ve done, just after we see if you meet our requirements.

3. Recent graduates should only include their GPA if it’s a 3.0 or higher. Professionals who have been in the business for several years should lose the GPA entirely.

4. Create bulleted lists for previous job requirements. Resumes should always be scannable. Professionals do not want to read flowery sentences in lengthy paragraphs. Always write your resume in the simplest sentences possible.

5. Make your resume measurable. It’s always best to prove how much of an asset you’ll be to the company. Prove your worth by measuring the success of your previous work. Example, if you’re a journalist, how many articles or yours were published? How many blog and twitter followers did you acquire at your last position?

6. Do not include an “objective.” An objective would be “To acquire a position as an account executive at McKinney-Cerne Inc.” Well, of course. We know why you’re applying. Our advice here is to either jump right into previous employers or write a sentence summarizing why you’re best for the position.

7. Do not include references. Most potential employers will want your references. But excluding them from your resume gives another aspect you may include in your thank you note after the interview. Always write, “References available upon request.”

8. If you know how, give it a design. If you’re a pro at Adobe Indesign (and especially if you’re applying for a design job), go ahead and give your resume a splash of creativity. But make sure the design does not take away from the important information. If you don’t know how to design, don’t sweat it. Clean black and white resumes are always accepted.

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About promotionalguru

A marketing communications professional helping other marketing professionals, business leaders and marketing students gain a better understanding of trends in advertising and public relations as well as tips for being a successful marketer.

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