Friday, April 12, 2024

Create a flawless resume

By Arriel Vinson

 

Job applicants usually don’t have much of a chance to prove themselves worthy of the position. In some cases, the employer sees a resume before they even see an applicant’s face, if they ever see their face at all. Every part of a resume is a reflection of the applicant, which is why it is important to have an outstanding resume in terms of style, length and content. Indianapolis Minority Business Magazine spoke with Chaz Pitts-Kyser, a certified resume writer at Sequence Counseling and Consulting Services, for tips to create a flawless resume.

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TIP 1: Base the number of pages on the amount of experience

“Resumes can vary between one to four pages. There’s this misconception that resumes need to be one page or two pages max, and really it’s dependent on what level you’re at. If you are a new college graduate and you don’t have much work experience, then your resume will probably only be one page. But if you are someone who’s been working for 20 years and has been executive, and you have a one- to two-page resume, that would look a little short.”

TIP 2: Preface the resume with a professional summary

“A lot of people with their resumes, the first thing you see is their work history. But today’s resumes, it’s more common to see professional summary or similar qualifications, which is at the very top. It highlights key skills and professional qualities, and personal qualities that go along with the job you’re applying for, so people can see a snapshot of who you are.”

However, job candidates should definitely cover education, certifications, skills and work history in their resumes. Pitts-Kyser says volunteer experience can also be added if it is applicable to the job position.

TIP 3: Beware of unprofessionalism

“Typos such as misspellings will get you thrown out and put in the trash really quickly. (Employers) hate to see gimmicky things. Your picture doesn’t need to be there. They hate to see unprofessional email addresses like ‘hotlikefire69.’ I’ve seen a lot of people have stuff like that.”

Pitts-Kyser recommends having a professional email address from a service like Gmail and to stay away from Hotmail or AOL.

TIP 4: Stay organized

“An employer shouldn’t have to play ‘Where’s Waldo’ trying to find out where you graduated from school. More than anything, employers will want something organized. They want a clear header for professional experience; they want a clear header for education and skills. Also, you need to consider typeface. If someone has to squint to read your resume, that’s a problem. If it’s too big, that’s a problem. It needs to really encourage readability.”

TIP 5: Use keywords from the job description

“You should always be going to the actual job you’re applying for and re-reading the job description. You should make sure the profile summary highlights all the things the employer was asking for. You want to make sure you are tailoring the resume in all areas, but especially the summary, toward the job.”

Tip 6: Vary descriptions and give details

“Start all the bullets with strong action words. If it’s your current job, then it’s present tense. If it’s a former jobs, then it’s past tense. Then you want to vary your word choice. So it shouldn’t be ‘provided this, provided that.’ Also, beyond just saying what you did, you want to show how it affected the organization. You want to show actual accomplishments. You want to show and not just tell people. Use figures and numbers to actually show.”

 

For more information on how to better a resume, contact Chaz Pitts-Kyser at sequenceservices.com or read her novel Careeranista: The Woman’s Guide to Success After College.

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