Writing Resume

How do you make a résumé stand out without resorting to dishonesty? What can you do to get attention for the right reasons? Here are some recommendations.

Be the first in line. One-in-five employers said they are receiving more résumés this year than last year.  A good way to break out from the crowd is to be the first one in line. Sign up for e-mail alerts and perform daily searches for jobs in a specific field or industry.

Use keywords. Many hiring managers and HR departments are using new technology to review job candidates. Applicant tracking systems scan résumés and provide the managers with a ranking based on keywords in the document.

Among the terms employers searched for most often: "problem-solving and decision making skills," "oral and written communication," "customer service," "retention," "performance" and "productivity improvement," "leadership," "technology," "team-building,"  "project management" and "bilingual."

Stand out. Many of the hiring managers (43 percent) said that they spend a minute or less looking at résumés. Think of your résumé as a written audition. You have a limited window of opportunity to have the attention of the hiring manager, so make the most of it. Focus on specific accomplishments and tangible, positive results that you achieved at previous jobs.

Be honest. If you have a gap in employment periods, explain why. Mention any volunteer work you did or classes you took at these times to show that your skill set is still current and highlight what you have accomplished. People often forget to include volunteer work, part-time jobs and freelance work in a résumé, even though that work is often relevant to your career path. If you did not complete a degree, do not claim that you did; college and university attendance is easy to verify.  List graduation date, the time frame you attended any institutions and your major.