Writing an Effective Resume — How to Break the Job Search Log Jam

Looking for a job is tough these days, but writing an effective resume is the easiest way to make sure you have the best shot at the position you want.

A job search is like a funnel. There’s a wide opening at the start that gets narrower as the hiring process goes forward. Along the way, you have to show that you deserve to make it to the next step.

Your cover letter has to make the person reading it want to read your resume.

Your resume has to make the person reading it want to give you an interview.

Your interview has to make the person interviewing you want to give you a job.

Usually, the biggest cut comes when resumes are read. If your resume can get you to the interview stage, your chances of being hired greatly increase.

Here are three suggestions for writing effective resumes that will improve those chances.

First, highlight your accomplishments. Potential employers want to know what you’ve done in previous jobs or in school. They also want to know the results of those efforts.

For example, don’t just list the duties and responsibilities from your previous positions. Instead, provide details of what you achieved and give specifics about the effects.

Second, use simple, readable language in your resume. In other words, don’t try to sound smart.

Using big words only makes your resume harder to read and increases the chances that it will end up in the shredder. Instead of saying that you utilized something, just say you used it. Instead of saying you facilitated something, say you assisted with it.

Third, select a simple, readable design for your resume. You want it to be outstanding instead of standing out for the wrong reasons.

Arrange the sections of your resume so the reader’s eye moves easily from one to the next. Use a font style that is plain and large enough to read.

If you want to get on the road to landing a job you’ll love, writing an effective resume is a great start.

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