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Keep it Brief
Your resume is an overview of your qualifications-- not your life story. It's a "preview of coming attractions" which creates the desire to see the rest of the show. One to two pages is the standard for a resume read by the human eye, and up to three pages for a scannable resume. If your resume is more than one page, the first page must capture the reader's attention. If it fails to do so, the remaining pages won't be read.
Don't try to be everything to everyone. Target your job search and your resume to your specific occupational goals.
Prepare Multiple Resumes
Generally, you should concentrate first on one well-written resume that targets your immediate job search. Make sure this resume represents you well to a wide range of employers and is suitable for scanning. If you've more than one objective, additional resumes may be required. For example, if you're planning to pursue two distinct occupations such as realtor and bookkeeper, you'd need two resumes. If you only use the targeted resume approach, you'd also write a unique resume to each employer.
Provide a Visual Impact
A piece of sales literature has only about two seconds to attract the reader's attention. Similarly, the resume must attract the employer even before it's read. Many advertising techniques apply, including the use of white space, bullets, indentation and varied type style. Professional printing produces a high quality product, but can be expensive. Laser quality printing is an excellent alternative. Never handwrite your resume! Make sure there are no typographical, grammatical or spelling errors. Ask someone to proofread your resume to help eliminate errors.
Your resume is specifically designed to paint the best picture possible of you. Place the emphasis on the positive, not the negative. It should be an honest statement of your best qualities. Your resume should hold up under scrutiny. Facts and numbers must be believable. The content of the resume should be in harmony. Dates should be consistent while experience and related activities should support your qualifications.
Target Your Resume
If you consistently hear that you're overqualified or are concerned that you will be perceived as such, then you haven't effectively targeted your resume. When writing your resume, target it to the level of employment and to the occupation or employer. If you're pursuing more than one distinct level of employment, then consider a separate resume for each. Present the information that you believe is important. You don't have to tell everything. If you have an advanced degree in a field unrelated to your goal, leave it off.
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