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How to Write a Resume to Get a Job Interview

Many workers are unsatisfied in their current jobs and want a career change. Some desire an internal promotion at their current company, while others want to move on to greener pastures. However, mid-level workers often find themselves stuck because they haven’t updated a resume in years and don’t know where to start. Others have sent out resumes without receiving any response. Being seen as relevant by today’s employers requires a resume that shows you understand the current work climate. These strong resumes make hiring managers want to call a candidate in for an interview. Here are some step-by-step changes that will show you how to write a resume to get a job interview.

Eliminate Outdated Content

Resumes have changed a lot in the past 10 years. If yours has been gathering dust, the first step is remove the following items that are outdated and no longer relevant.

• Objectives- Start by looking at the very top of the resume to see if it still has an objective. If so, replace it with a professional profile. Whereas an objective focuses on what type of job you want, a professional profile focuses on what you have to offer an employer. Objectives don’t impress hiring managers, but well-crafted profiles can open the door for an interview. Include your years experience and the skills that you posses. Make sure that the skills match up with what was listed in the job advertisement.

• Outdated Technology- Resumes shouldn’t include every software or operating system you have ever used. They should only include the ones that are relevant to the job that you are applying for. Remove any that are no longer in use at all. If you’re unsure, Google the software to see if it still exists. The same applies for operating systems. Don’t list every system back to the origin of Windows.


Use the Correct Tense

Almost all of your resume should be written in past tense, including your current job description. The only section that should be written in the present tense is the professional profile at the very top. In addition, never use third person when writing a resume.

Build Transferable Accomplishments

If you want to change industries or job titles, it’s imperative that you identify your core skills and explain how they are transferable. Don’t make employers connect the dots between your previous jobs and the one you are applying for. If your previous sales job was in manufacturing, remove any language that is specific to manufacturing. The actions and accomplishments will remain the same, but hiring managers won’t be distracted by unfamiliar terms and names.

Update the Formatting

While resumes of yesteryear were designed to stand out, today’s resumes must be clean and easy to read. This streamlined formatting is important because employers scan resumes quickly and often utilize resume screening software which doesn’t handle images well. Look through your resume and remove any images or clip art. In addition, use only the standard, round bullets instead of colored ones or decorative bullets. To differentiate sections, leave extra white space instead of inserting graphical lines. Finally, stick to a standard font such as Times, Arial or Helvetica.

Professionals with many recent job changes find that the chronological resume format just doesn’t work for them. This style uses up too much space listing jobs that are no longer relevant. Instead, switch to a functional or hybrid resume, which highlights only the skills and accomplishments that are relevant to the position you are seeking.

Deliver Accomplishment Driven Statements

Today’s hiring teams want results-oriented workers, not just worker bees. Resumes must show them what you accomplished not just what you did. Instead of saying that you headed a multi-departmental team for project X, state that you successfully integrated team members from multiple departments to deliver project X two months ahead of schedule. This is called quantifying your data and means that you are providing measurable results. Whenever possible, include numbers, which are easy to understand.


Have a Goal

One of the biggest problems with resumes is that they are difficult to understand. This is often because job seekers don’t have a clear idea of the job that they want. Employers pick up on this and pass over these resumes. Try developing a goal statement before you start writing. A goal statement is what you are trying to accomplish. It may be to get promoted to a certain job within your company or it could be to find a higher level job at another company. Every section and sentence must be aimed at achieving the goal statement. If you encounter a portion that doesn’t, either reword it or eliminate it.


Whether you live in Michigan or around the country, the employment experts at Vertical Media Solutions can guide you toward a successful career change. Our personalized resume writing services are designed to deliver powerful presentations of your qualifications and professionalism. Learn how we can help today: 616-631-4300.

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