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(Posted by Admin)

US News & World Report recently published an article – written by Robin Reshwan which highlights some great starting points for developing your résumé. Robin is the founder of Collegial Services and a business leader with some of the largest international staffing firms including Robert Half International, Adecco and Randstad/Accountants Inc. Robin has placed thousands of resources and is considered an expert in staffing for a variety of functional areas.

In the article, Robin primarily states first that you need to "Know your audience." It is important to recognize the most important qualifications for a given position and pair them with your own experiences and skill set. Not only should you match up with the required qualifications, it is important to also match up with the desired or preferred skills. This leads to with Robin's second tip, "Know yourself." Robin says,

A "one size fits all" résumé never works as well as one that is customized to a specific role, because it requires the reader to think about how other experiences relate to desired qualifications.

Robin's next advice is to "Move beyond the duties" of your past/current positions. Every role has goals or expectations to go along with responsibilities. A good resume should include each of the responsibilities of the position, and it should also include your ability to exceed those expectations and demonstrate your success, relative to internal metrics. By including your ability to exceed the expectations of a position, you will, ultimately, be demonstrating your ability to make an impact on the organization to which you are applying.

The final pieces of advice Robin gives are based on visual appeal. First, she emphasizes layout. She states that "a layout that is organized, symmetrical, allows resting places for the eyes with good use of white space and is not overly text heavy or overly styled works best." Next, she discusses word placement. Robin believes that the top one third of your resume should entice the reader/recruiter to read the remaining text on your resume. This means that the most important or most relevant information (to the desired position) is available to the reader as soon as the document is viewed. Finally, Robin says that you need to repeatedly make changes, print, and review your resume; this should continue until everything looks perfect. Robin says,

A résumé is one the most important tools for the job seeker. While it is not a joyful task for most, writing a well-crafted résumé really helps to sell why you would be an excellent employee. A great one displays commitment to making a great impression, professionalism, writing skills, attention to detail, knowledge of a desired profession and assessment of an individual's skills. In 2014, give yourself the gift of a great résumé. It may take a little more time – but the investment is worth it.

Your resume is the first thing recruiters see. It is a representation of you, as a resource to their organization, and there should be no question as to whether or not you qualify for a position. A recruiter should be able to view the top portion of your resume and determine if they should review the remaining text; when developing your resume, keep in mind that, oftentimes, it takes 20 seconds to determine whether a candidate is qualified for a position. What sets you apart from the other prospective candidates? How will you impact the organization?