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7 Steps To A Job-Winning Resume

By Cathy Goodwin

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A new resume can jump-start your career. Your network contacts may ask for a resume and some industries absolutely, positively demand a resume as the price of admission. When you begin thinking of your resume as a power source, the results can be astonishing.

  1. Your resume is a sales tool. It is not a place for therapeutic self-disclosure or true confessions. Be honest but present your accomplishments in the most positive way.

  2. Leave tricky questions ("Why did you have six jobs in ten years?" "Why are you applying for an entry position after you've been running the show?") for the interview. Practice interview responses with a support group, friend or career coach.

  3. If chronology works against you, opt for a sales pitch letter or use your network to get past the screeners. If you can't avoid a resume, some experts will advise a functional resume. However, once you show up for an interview, expect to be asked for a chronological review.

  4. Focus on accomplishments. "Supervised ten people on a project that finished three weeks before deadline and saved megabucks."

    If you're over fifteen, you do not have "duties." You have "responsibilities" and "accomplishments." Anyway, nobody cares about what you were supposed to do. They want to know what you contributed.

  5. Exploring multiple jobs? Tailor your resume to each position and each field. Show that you understand your target firm's problems -- and are uniquely equipped to solve them.

  6. Do not let anyone write your resume for you. Accept suggestions and feedback but the final product should be in your own words.

  7. Use your network to review the final product. Ask at least six people in your field for candid feedback. The final test: How do you feel when you read the resume? When you feel proud of your resume, and you're eager to share it with everyone you meet, you're ready to move.

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., helps midlife professionals rebuild, renovate and revitalize their careers. For help with your job search, visit
. For her weekly Your Next Move ezine, visit and download your free tips for mistake-proof life decisions.


Article Submitted On: October 02, 2004