7 Steps to Ensuring Your Resume Isn’t Your Downfall

by Holbrook Hernandez, Jessica Friday, April 20, 2012
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Job seeking can be a drawn-out process with many steps involved—any one of which could easily eliminate you as a candidate. The last thing you want is to have your resume—the first step in the process—be the reason you’re not considered for a position. There are a number of actions you can take to make sure that this crucial document is not your downfall. Here are seven to consider:

1. Make Your Resume Keyword-Friendly

A large number of employers are using scanning software to identify keywords telling them how well-aligned your resume is with the qualifications of a specific position. So in the process of writing your resume, be sure to identify field- and position-specific keywords in the job posting, then add them to the document before submitting it.

2. Align Your Professional History With the Position

Another key step in giving yourself a leg up as a job candidate is to align your professional history with the position you’re applying for. If an employer doesn’t see evidence that you have a background that shows you’ve accomplished company goals in the past, it will be hard to prove you can do it in the future.

3. Show You’ve Taken Action in Past Positions

If you want to increase the odds of your resume securing an interview for you, it’s important that you show that you’ve played an active role in your organization, rather than just accepted responsibilities handed to you. This means adding action verbs to your resume such as: initiated, produced, created, developed, and coordinated—among others that prove you have the ability to lead.

4. Prove You’re Well Trained

In your resume, you want to prove you’ve received the training necessary to fulfill the requirements of the position you’re applying for. This could mean listing your college degrees, certifications, on-the-job training, or any other experience you’ve acquired through roles and responsibilities.

5. Add a Branding Statement

It has become commonplace for job seekers to incorporate a branding statement at the top of their resumes—a one- or two-sentence statement that offers job title, years of experience, and reasons that you are the right fit for the position. The branding statement should be listed near the top of your resume, underneath your name, and it should do a great job of convincing the employer that you are the best candidate.

6. Add Your LinkedIn Profile

If you have a LinkedIn profile, don’t be shy about linking to it on your resume to provide access to additional information employers can use to gauge your qualifications.

7. Submit a Readable Resume

Your resume should always be easy to read, providing white space through the use of subheadings and bullet points, so that employers don’t have to dig for the information they’re looking for.

After you’re done creating your resume, you should feel confident you’ve created a solid document. If you’re certain this is the case, then it’s likely that employers will feel the same way and consider you for an interview.