While there is no magic formula for creating the perfect resume, there is some method to the madness. Consider the following tips and tricks:
Target the content. Take the time to tailor your resume to each job opening by highlighting your relevant skills and experience. A company that is recruiting a network security manager, for example, will be more interested in your knowledge of intrusion detection than your technical support skills.
Choose your words wisely. Many organizations use computer programs to evaluate resumes, searching for keywords in the documents that indicate a persons experience, skills, personality traits, software proficiencies or academic credentials. Often, the phrases that employers seek, such as .NET, wireless network management or CRM implementation, are listed in the job description. Using language from the posting in your resume will increase the number of hits it generates during this initial screening process and improve your chances of being selected for an interview. Just be sure that youre providing an accurate assessment of your background and not adding buzzwords to sound more impressive.
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Start with a bang. To capture a hiring managers attention immediately, begin your resume with a brief summary of your qualifications. The best statements clearly and succinctly describe your professional experience and expertise, as well as any certifications or awards you have received. Heres an example: Network engineer with five years of experience in network design and implementation, LAN/WAN interfacing, Internet protocols, and TCP/IP. Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional who has led numerous project teams that completed initiatives on time and under budget.
Emphasize ROI. A common resume trap is including a laundry list of technical skills rather than demonstrating return on investment. No matter how relevant or impressive your skill set, employers want to see how your expertise and efforts will impact the companys bottom line.
Highlight and quantify, when possible your contributions to the companies for which youve worked. For example, rather than saying, Implemented new software, a better option would be: Recommended a software application that reduced the amount of time required to address technical problems by 40 percent. Provide concrete examples of how you enhanced productivity, increased efficiency or reduced costs.