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Job Search Strategies - Resumes That Rock - Easy Readability Is Key
I dont know of anyone who reads resumes for recreation. And for most people who read lots of resumes, it is definitely not the favorite part of the job. So, make their life easier and make your resume both readable and scan able (for both the human eye and the electronic one).
Start with a summary. This is an overview of your career and the place where you can talk about your softer skills like leadership or team building. It is also the place to talk about the scope of your career in sizes of companies (from small start up to Fortune 500), range of budgets (up to $5 million), or scope of teams (up to 33 participants in 6 locations), etc. If you speak multiple languages fluently or have a security clearance, the summary is a good place to point that out. If something especially important will chronologically be on the second page, refer to it in some way in the summary to get it on the top half of the first page.
Use short bullets, not long paragraphs. They make it easier to absorb the information in a quick scan, which is how most people read a resume. Effective bullets can be as short as a single word, usually as part of the beginning summary. They can be as long as 2 to 4 lines. Regardless, bullets are much more readable than paragraphs.
Another good way to increase readability is to start every bullet with an action verb. Its impressive to run your eyes down the left margin of a resume and see words like managed, directed, exceeded (goal), wrote, and led. Youll notice that responsible isnt among those verbs ditch it. All Responsible for does is bury a good, strong action verb.
Dont neglect the formatting. Use bold, italics, underlining, etc. judiciously. Use a standard type face like Times New Roman or Ariel and nothing frilly or obscure. Standard type size is 12 pt. although 11 pt. is acceptable in a pinch.
Now go check out your resume for readability and check it out with someone else in your life for a second opinion.