Resumes That Open Doors

October 15, 2010 | By

Resumes That Open Doors
By: Meghann Olshefski, Director, Employment Placement Service

The right resume, a little networking, and an aggressive self-marketing strategy can get you the interview you’re waiting for in the conservative movement.

To ensure that your resume stands out among the dozens of applicants applying for the job that you want, you need to spend considerable time organizing your accomplishments to accentuate your strengths.  Did you know that most resumes only get 14 seconds of attention from a hiring manager? Here are several tips to make sure your resume gets noticed.

Limit your resume to one page (regardless of your experience level.) This way, you can prioritize the information and highlight only the jobs you are most proud of and that are the most relevant.

Frontload critical information “above the fold.” Include a Professional Profile or Summary at the top of the page that lists your top 3 to 4 skills, strengths and accomplishments in bulleted form. This section quickly tells an employer that you have the skills and qualifications that he/she is looking for in an employee.

Include a Work Experience section that blends paid and volunteer positions. Begin every bulleted point with a powerful action verb, like, “Motivated 27 volunteers…”, “Created a proposal…,” etc… Quantify your bullet points whenever you can. Focus on results and accomplishments not tasks. Use specific numbers and offer context: “Met 113% of the goal.” If you’re just graduating college, don’t bury campus leadership positions at the bottom of the resume. Treat those experiences as if they were a work experience and list your accomplishments for each in bulleted form. The same goes for any political volunteer or leadership experience you have.

• Presentation is key. If you’re looking for a job, always have hard copies of your resume on hand, wherever you go. Use nice resume paper and never use multi-purpose copy paper. Beware of smudging ink, coffee stains and wrinkles. Your resume represents you, so make sure the overall presentation is perfect.

• Be organized.  Choose black, legible serif font, preferably size 12.  If the font or margins are too small, the resume becomes harder to read. Bold the names of your organizations so that each work experience stands out. Be consistent in the way you format certain items.  Consistency and organization is key.

Proofread. Proofread. Proofread. Have a few people read your resume for errors, misspellings, and readability. Even the simplest mistakes can kill your chances of getting an interview.

The Leadership Institute offers free, in-depth resume consultations. We will review your resume and offer tips for a more readable and impressive presentation.  Contact Meghann Olshefski today to set up an in-person, over-the-phone, or via-email consultation today.