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Boost your candidacy with these must-follow Resume Writing Strategies

Due to the increasing competitiveness of today's job market requires the job seeker to be far more aggressive in their overall job search campaign, particularly when developing their career-marketing document 'the resume.
With a window of opportunity often as little as 10 seconds for the resume to spark the readers attention, demands a dynamic document that portrays the candidate's expertise and overall value offered. Gone are the days of a tasked-based resume with an inventory of a position's responsibilities, coupled with a standard (and boring) list of personal aptitudes. This has been replaced with an achievement /accomplishment driven document that depicts you as a pro-active candidate that demands results and demonstrates the significant value on offer to the organization.

Your resume is your initial handshake and must therefore not be second-guessed, so the aim is to demonstrate your ability to fulfill their requirements and to build an interest in the benefits and value you bring to the organization. Strive toward developing a document that will motivate the reader into action by requesting an interview.

So what strategies can be followed to create a professional marketing document that promotes your overall value and portrays you as a passionate contributor to the ongoing success of the company that demands an employment interview?

Here are some tips to inspire your writing:

~ Replace an uninspiring career objective with a succinct career profile that summarizes your expertise and includes accomplishment highlights with quantifiable results. This is bound to impress the reader and concentrates on what you can deliver for them, rather than on what you want.

~ Incorporate industry-related key words as well as action words that will grab the reader's attention. For instance:

Orchestrated, devised, instructed, spearheaded, maximized, led, directed, streamlined, oversaw, managed, motivated, controlled, delegated, consolidated, generated, implemented, proposed, specified 'and the list goes on.

~ Identify challenges you overcame; the action or solution you undertook to alleviate the challenge; and the (quantifiable) result, and script into a powerfully written statement. For instance:

Challenge: Staff turnover high, performance levels extremely poor, with overall costs to recruit and train new staff high.

Action: Developed staff monitoring and incentive programs; implemented staff training programs.

Result: Increased staff knowledge base; decreased staff turnover by 66.7%; increased staff morale and collaboration; increased productivity levels by 77%.

Then by incorporating a number of action words, the above can be written as:

Enhanced staff morale; optimized productivity levels by 77%; and reduced staff turnover by 66.7% through implementation of strategic monitoring and incentive programs.

Notice the deliberate detailing of the quantifiable results at the forefront, followed by the method in which this accomplishment was obtained.

~ Ensure your document is consistent in its formatting; if you bold a position title, bold all job titles throughout your document. Make certain your overall document is well structured (plenty of white space), and aesthetically pleasing (professional headings and layout).

~ Refrain from providing details of every single position you have ever had. As a guide, generally the last 5 '10 years is appropriate (if the position being applied for is relevant to what you have been doing), with a maximum of about 15 years.

~ For far greater impact when identifying your professional experience, create a strategically written paragraph outlining your main accountabilities (remembering to incorporate attention grabbing action words), followed by a bulleted list of achievements.

~ Lastly, edit, edit, and edit again. Then ask a family member or friend to read through the document to ensure your career-marketing document is error free.

About the Author

Annemarie Cross is a dual-certified, award winning Resume Writer and Career Coach, and the founder/principal of Advanced Employment Concepts, a career consultancy offering specialised services for people striving for success and fulfilment through their careers and work/life balance. Annemarie can be contacted at


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