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August 20, 2017

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"Pimp" Your Resume

You’ve probably heard of the show “Pimp My Ride,” where a lucky person has a chance to turn an otherwise crappy vehicle into the beautiful car of their dreams. Well, as beautiful as a 1978 Ford Pinto can get, that is.

The point is that there are ways to turn something not-so-beautiful into something spectacular. The same can be done with your resume. So if you want to turn your bland document into a job-getter, take a moment to review some tips that will help you “pimp” your resume.

Tip #1: Focus on the Employer

One way to make sure that your resume is impressive in the employer’s eyes is to make sure you correlate your qualifications with their needs. In other words, as you review the job posting, you want to zero in on what they’re looking for then note the qualifications that you bring to the table that match their desires. This way, they won’t have to play the match game on their own to determine how qualified you are for the position.

Tip #2: Try an Executive Summary

An executive summary is similar to an objective; however, it is a little bit longer (about 60 words, or 3 typed lines), and describes your both your objective and key selling points. So instead of simply noting that you’re looking for a specific position, you might mention that you’re a Yale Law School graduate with experiences as a law director who now seeks to showcase law talents in an executive position at ABC Corporation.

Try #3: Narrow Down the Positions You Mention

It may bit tempting to take the approach of jotting down every job you’ve held in recent years. But if you were laid off three years ago and took a four-month part-time job to make ends meet, you don’t have to mention it unless it is relevant to the position you’re applying for.

Tip #4: Emphasize Accomplishments AND Education

You probably hear quite often how important it is to emphasize your accomplishments. In other words, it’s important to discuss in action phrases what you completed, not simply what you were responsible for. This shows that you were not just given a task, but you got it done. Well, the same goes for education. It’s customary to mention the school you attended, year you graduated, and degree you earned. However, there’s nothing wrong with mentioning academic projects, advanced coursework, and activities that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. Also, noting honors isn’t a bad idea.

Tip #5: Don’t Forget Your White Space

A great way to “pimp” your resume, or make it more attractive to read, is making sure there is plenty of white space in the document. There’s nothing worse than trying to dig through a resume for relevant information. By creating bullet-point lists and utilizing other ways to “open it up” with white space, you can make it easier to read – definitely a plus.

Creating the right resume can make or break your chances of snagging the job you want. So if you’re dusting off an old one, consider these tips on “pimping” your resume that can help make it a winner.

- Heather Eagar

Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. Compare the top resume writing services in the industry at www.resumelines.com.

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