A Career Expert Explains How To Get Your Resume In Tip-Top Shape

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We spoke to resume and career expert Donna Svei of AvidCareerist to learn more about what makes a great resume stand out from the pack. Here are six tips.

Your resume is a powerful piece of paper that essentially embodies your skills and accomplishments — it needs to convince employers that you are the right candidate for the job.

Often, the resume is what's going to help you get your foot in the door for an interview.

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According to AvidCareerist's Donna Svei, who writes executive Linkedin profiles and resumes, a well-proofed resume will make hiring managers want to learn more about you. Since many of your competitors will have strong, flawless resumes, it's important that you do, too, to stay at the top of the pack.

With that being said, we decided to pick Svei's brain on how to make a great resume.

1. Make it easy on the eyes

A resume without big blocks of text is easy to scan, which is in your favor when a hiring manager has hundreds to look over.

"People get tired," Svei said. "When people get tired they get lazy ... write to the lazy recruiter."

2. Error-proof it

Although Svei has seen even CEOs with errors on their resumes, you can never be sure if a recruiter is going to be more or less forgiving, especially if a job is detail-oriented.

"Just no errors will make you stand out," she said.

So take the time, and proofread more than once.

3. Use short sentences

Sounding like an intelligent person doesn't equate to being formal or using big words. A well-written resume, in Svei's opinion, doesn't require sentences with more than 25 words and is easier for recruiters or hiring managers to understand. 

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4. Careful with having others proofread it

Unless someone has experience in hiring others, Svei warns against having people proofread your resume, since everyone always has different opinions on how it should look. 

5. Incorporate power words

In her experience, resumes with power verbs like "accelerated," "monetized," and "collaborated," are the most successful with hiring managers. They show that you can make things happen at work, and also catch attention by showing how.  

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6. Emphasize your accomplishments

When she was a hiring manager, Svei said she was most impressed by people who listed out accomplishments on their resume that proved that they were curious about something and then took the initiative to learn the skill.

"I look for people who are constantly curious and able to teach themselves new things," she said, such as a new software.

On that note, if you were rehired or recruited by someone you used to work with before, you should add that in. It speaks volumes, she said. 

Job hunters, did you take note?

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