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Creative Ways to Improve Your Resume

Creative Ways to Improve Your Resume

Charles Purdy | Monster+HotJobs senior editor

5. Cut unnecessary resume “stories.”
Work Coach Cafe’s Ronnie Ann advises removing things that are not directly related to the story you’re telling about yourself and the job you’re applying for. She says, “I have an abundantly varied job history—better than ‘job hopper,’ huh?—and remember back to resumes where I just wanted to make each job so full-bodied and rich that I was sure the employer would want to meet me. But as interesting as we may be as human beings, employers just want to know if we’re right for their company—and specifically the job in question.”

For instance, if you’re both a professional accountant and a certified dog groomer, you might want to play down your dog-grooming experience when you apply for jobs in finance.

6. Look for ways to use exciting language.
Check your resume’s verbs, and use strong verbs to make your resume more vibrant. For instance, “responsible for daily bank deposits” (no verb) could easily be “oversaw daily bank deposits” (strong verb). And as you find each verb, look at its subject—is it you? If not, should it be? For instance, in “duties included writing press releases,” the subject is “duties.” It’d be much better to say something like “Wrote all company press releases.”

7. Turn your resume upside-down.
I’m serious. Turn your resume upside-down and look at it from a distance. This will help you analyze its appearance separately from its content. Does it look too dense? Is it heavier on the top or bottom? Emily Bennington, a coauthor of “Effective Immediately: How to Fit In, Stand Out, and Move Up at Your First Real Job,” says, “Sometimes a resume will catch my eye simply because it’s formatted beautifully. I know the most important component is the content on the page, but you should also pay attention to the packaging. Trust me, hiring managers notice!”

8. Write a draft in a different format.
In his book “The Overnight Resume: The Fastest Way to Your Next Job,” career expert Donald Asher suggests writing a letter to a family member about your job accomplishments as a way to rethink your resume. (Go ahead, brag a little.) Then he says you can start turning this into a resume draft by removing most personal pronouns (“I” and “we”), taking out articles (“a,” “an,” and “the”), and cutting transition words like “and” (unless doing so would distort meaning).

Thinking of your resume as a letter or a story (in which you’re the hero), or some other medium, is a great way to start making it fresher, more personal, and more effective.

This article was originally published on Monster.com

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