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This resume guide is sponsored by The Ladders The goal of your resume is to get you an interview for the job. Our friends at the Ladders, the largest professional career resource, have shared their simple resume guide to improve your interview success rate.

Resume Length

For the majority of professionals, a resume should be two pages total. However, if you have less than 10 years of experience, your resume should be about a page long.

Resume Structure

At the top of your resume, you should list your contact information. At the bottom, you should showcase your education.

Professional Summary

A Professional Summary summarizes your professional goals, experience, and strengths. Here are some things you should include in your Professional Summary: Job titles: Think about what types of jobs you would consider for your next role, then list 3-5 job titles you would accept. Don’t worry if you haven’t had this job in the past. The important part is to make sure it’s a logical next step for you in your career. Professional skills: After you’ve listed out the types of jobs you would accept, think about the skills you’d need to leverage in those jobs. List 4-6 relevant skills that you possess. However, don’t list skills that are obvious or assumed. Accomplishments: List 3-6 phrases that outline your past achievements.

Work History

In your Work History, you should provide a chronological list of your professional experience, beginning with your most recent role. After you list the names of each company, dates of employment, and job titles for each role, use bullet points to distribute the following information:
  • Your most recent/important job (8 bullet points)
  • Your next job (8 bullet points)
  • Your next two jobs (4 bullet points each)
  • Everything else (10 bullet points total)
TIP: Instead of using static verbs like “managed,” “my responsibilities included,” and so on in your bullet points, include a “success verb.” Here are some examples of success verbs:
  • Achieved
  • Contributed
  • Delivered
  • Exceeded
  • Gained
  • Improved
  • Introduced
  • Optimized
  • Sold
When it comes to listing out your accomplishments, it’s critical to showcase a number, dollar, or percentage increase / decrease in each bullet point. Here are some examples:
  • Increased new customer visits by 17% without increasing ad budget.
  • Improved revenue per SaaS client by $4,250 through consultative sales training.
Potential employers care about the quantifiable outcome of the company. So, think about their goals. Are they looking for more users, more revenue, faster turnaround, higher client satisfaction, all of the above, or something else completely? Understanding their goals will allow you to showcase the right information on your resume.

Your Audience

Think about who will be reading your resume. The hiring manager is wants to know what you can do for him and his team. He will be looking for proof that you know how to handle the type of projects and problems that will arise on this job. If you use the tips in this resume guide, you’ll increase your chances of success.

Free Resume Review

Hopefully, you found this resume guide helpful! Now that you know what to do, check out Ladders free resume reviewer tool and get your resume reviewed in 35 seconds or less. You’ll be on your way to having a powerful new resume.

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Resume writing can be a tiring and frustrating experience. But the reason for it isn’t usually laziness; it’s that the process can feel so tedious. Having to sit there and think about everything you’ve accomplished in your career can be overwhelming, especially since you have to incorporate different information into each resume every time you apply for a different position. The process can sometimes be so tedious that it becomes difficult to achieve the focus necessary to send an impactful message. Of course, you don’t want this to happen, which is why it’s good to use various strategies to ease the monotony of the resume writing process.

Work From A Master Resume

One great way to ease the monotony of resume writing is to work from a master resume. The master resume is used as an organizational tool that allows you to place all of the details of your career into one large document. It is never submitted to employer but is instead used as a reference point for you. By placing all of the details of your career in this one place, when the time comes to write a new resume, you don’t have to think about the specifics of each job you’ve had. Instead, you can simply reference the master resume, easing the stress of the writing process.

Write Multiple Drafts

Another way to ease stress associated with writing a resume is to write more than one draft. In other words, don’t expect to get it right the first time. Instead, piece information together to create a rough draft. Then, continue to revisit the resume with fresh eyes so you can catch mistakes you may not have seen the first time. After several drafts, you should feel comfortable you’ve created a great resume for submission.

Don’t Write The Resume In One Day

To keep in line with the draft-writing concept, it’s good to not force yourself to write the resume in one day. The longer the break is between the times you look at your resume, the easier it will be to view the document with fresh eyes. So, unless you are faced with a same-day deadline, it’s good to give yourself at least two days to develop a good resume. Job seeking is stressful enough without adding additional stressors. So take time to implement these strategies to ease the monotony of this aspect of the application process.

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Is a cover letter truly necessary for your resume? The answer is, “Yes!” Recruiters and hiring managers read cover letters for three main reasons. Do you really need cover letters? The answer is, “Yes!” Recruiters and hiring managers read cover letters and cover e-mails for these three main reasons:
  • To find out information that may not be in your resume or immediately obvious
  • To get a fast overview of your most relevant experience
  • Lastly, to find out why you are interested in their company or their opening
The cover letter—or cover e-mail—should not be long: two or three paragraphs with bullets highlighting your most relevant achievements, experience, and skills. You might also let the recruiter or hiring company know what soft skills you bring to the table: teamwork, leadership, a get-it-done attitude, efficiency, organization, a concern for the bottom line. You know your own strengths. The cover letter is the place where, if necessary, you explain a change in careers or locations, notify potential employers that your search is confidential, respond to a request by the company for references or salary ranges, or share other important information that is not appropriate for the resume. I believe strongly in cover letters because they are far more personal than the strictly formatted bullet points of a resume. When I talk with you about your career goals and your experience, I ask what any recruiter or hiring manager would ask—and then I put the answers in your cover letter.

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I’ve heard it said various ways: you get a 5, 7, or 30-second initial resume scan from the hiring manager. I can tell you, when I was an HR manager and had 100 resumes to go through. My initial resume scan was about five seconds long, and I was looking for something to catch my eye.

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