Friday, September 18, 2009

Resume Writing Tips That Pay (Part 4)

Whether it was a misspelled word, the wrong prefix on a word, or fragmented sentence, many hiring managers have a zero tolerance when it comes to resume mistakes. Following are more resume writing tips inspired from things seen on people’s resumes during my career in human resources.

Tip: One goal of a well-written resume is for it to be easy reading. When formatting your resume, one way to make it readable is by:

Write primary points without use of conjunctions. Not appropriate to use in all formats, but in some industries it is fine. Example: “Maintained effective, regular communications with all parties involved.”
The KIS approach (Keep It Simple) certainly applies when it comes to most resumes. Keeping resumes visually simple; spacing the points so they can be easily read; using a commonly accepted business-oriented font; and making selective use of “bold” or italics to highlight only very important points.

Tip: Be careful in using words that sound alike but have different meanings. Examples include:

  • “Elicit,” meaning to draw or bring out, versus “illicit;” which means illegal;
  • “Cite,” meaning to quote, versus “sight,” which means vision; or “site,” meaning a position or place;
  • “Taught,” meaning past tense of teach, versus taut, which means tight;
  • “Capital,” meaning a seat of government, versus “capitol,” which means a building in which a legislative body meets.

Colloquial or conversational word usage refers to types of speech or to usages that are not on a formal level. Words that are used in easy conversation, without strict attention to set forms, describe ordinary, everyday language. It is common to see advertising signage with words purposely spelled differently to attract attention. No matter how trendy or common the usage, please resist the temptation to use words in their misspelled forms. Examples include:

  • “Kleen” instead of “clean;”
  • “Boyz” instead of “boys;”
  • “Rite” instead of “right;”
  • “Nite” instead of “night;”
  • “Quik,” or “kwik,” instead of “quick.”

Even when spelled correctly, it is inappropriate to use slang in any form. “Whatever” and “you know” are easy examples.

Tip: Do not use abbreviations. It is better form to spell out words instead of their commonly accepted short versions. For example, write “Saint Louis” instead of “St. Louis.” An exception to this occurs within legal circles, when referencing court cases, it is acceptable to write “v.” instead of “versus.”

In this competitive job market, many people are making use of professional resume writers. Professionally written resumes guarantee freedom from technical issues, and are rich in words that set you apart from others applying for the same position.
Do not let such easily correctable items stand between you and your next career assignment. If word tense, grammar or the turn of a phrase is not your forte’, consider hiring a professional resume writer. Such people write resumes daily and the good ones guarantee their work. Landing the job makes such a move well worth it.

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