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The latest advice and best practices in hiring and careers.

Creating a Bullet-Proof Résumé

Search the Internet for résumé tips and you’ll get literally millions of hits.  If you spend a little time pouring over the results, you’ll realize that many of the articles are several years old (or older – Want an updated version, check out these 8 tips for building a resume).  Furthermore, lots are written by questionable sources.  These days, anyone can claim that he’s a “résumé expert” and post his opinion of the right way to craft a résumé.

As a Connecticut job seeker, how do you find the most up-to-date, reliable résumé tips and trends?

Look no further!  At A.R. Mazzotta, we have true résumé experts in house.  We’ve compiled their best advice for creating a bullet-proof résumé – one that’s polished, professional, and up to recruiters’ standards in 2012.  Here’s how:

Change your lead-off.

The first few lines are crucial.  Make sure you grab the reader’s attention quickly.  Instead of leading off with a “career objective” statement, use the premium space at the top of your résumé to list accomplishments and facts that are tailored to the job posting.

Show your future employer the WIIFM.

Whether you call it a “summary” or “overview,” the facts and accomplishments at the top of your résumé should demonstrate how your value translates into his specific needs.  Create a compelling summary using the most relevant and impressive qualifications from throughout your career.  Write in active voice to build a power-packed, bulleted list that shows the employer “What’s In It For Me?”

Use QR codes.

Today’s young professionals are networking with QR codes, as opposed to paper résumés.  A QR code is a little barcode that, when scanned by a smartphone, directs a potential employer to your online résumé, portfolio, or professional website.  Get professional business cards printed with your contact information on the front and a QR code on the back.  As you network, pass them out to recruiters and other contacts so they can instantly connect with you – without carrying around a sheet of paper.

Support your résumé with social media.

Just as recruiters use multiple media to push job postings, you should use social media to get your résumé noticed by recruiters.  Use Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to provide career updates and make yourself more memorable as a candidate.  Just make sure that if you link your digital résumé to your online profiles, you properly manage your privacy settings to ensure employers see only appropriate content.

Incorporate relevant keywords.

Keywords are specific words or phrases used to describe your experience.  They put your skills into focus for a recruiter and help him determine, at a glance, whether or not your skills match those needed for an available job.  To use keywords properly, first identify which ones make sense for your résumé.  Use job postings similar to your interests, or research industry trends online, to generate a list of 10 or 15 strong, descriptive, and applicable keywords.  Incorporate those buzzwords into the summary, job description, and/or professional qualifications sections of your résumé.

Quantify your accomplishments.

Use numbers to back up your claims (e.g., “increased sales by 25%,” “decreased customer wait times by three minutes,” etc.).  Whenever possible, quantify the results you delivered or find other concrete ways to describe what you have achieved – beyond merely completing assigned job tasks.

Follow this link for more tips for creating a great résumé.

Looking for Jobs in Connecticut?

A.R. Mazzotta can get you on the path to career success.  Our recruiting experts can provide valuable feedback to help you improve your résumé, hone your interviewing skills, and ultimately land the job you want.  Get started today.