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3 tips to keep your resume out of the trash

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Why is it hard to get through the door with a new employer? Here's one reason: Employers are busy people with exacting standards. As a job hunter, you only have an instant – a few seconds, actually – to make an impression that propels you to the next level of the hiring process.
If you're like most people searching for a job, you probably take this fleeting opportunity for granted. Perhaps you don't realize that these few seconds can change your entire career. And once you lose the moment, it's gone for good. You can't have it back.
Let's take a closer look. Your resume lands on the employer's desk or computer screen. The hiring manager scans the document for a few seconds. If you grab the reader's interest, you win the most coveted prize: more time and genuine consideration, which will hopefully lead to an interview. If you don't capture attention, you don't score a second read-through. Time passes. Doors close. Another resume is tossed in the bin.
The majority of resumes fall by the wayside because they don't have teeth. Sure, you might be the perfect person for the job. You may even have the chops to break all previous sales records, revitalize the customer service team and eliminate every redundant process from finance to administration. But you'll never get the chance to use your talents to turn this company around. Because your resume got in the way.
There are ways to grab hold of the employer's attention, to create a resume or online profile that makes an impact. You don't need games or gimmicks, just a good, clean format and solid writing that tells the reader what you can do for the business, quickly, powerfully, to transport you to the next level.
Check out the top half of the first page of your resume. This section gives employers everything they need to determine if you're worth additional time. The same is true for online profiles: As soon as your document opens, hiring managers scan the top portion of the computer monitor and decide if they want to scroll down for more details. Or not.
Use this valuable part of your resume to create a compelling, easy-to-read description of the person the company wants to hire: you! Here are some tips to help you showcase your most valuable selling points quickly and effectively:
Start with a unique opening statement: Tell the employer who you are and what you offer. How else will they know that you are a game changer with 10 years of experience and a history of breathing life into under-performing teams?
Showcase credentials: I am not a fan of placing academic titles after your name, but I do suggest including impressive credentials near the top of your resume when they're relevant and give you a competitive edge.
Flash your competencies: Depending on your field, you may benefit from a quick list of bullet points showcasing your primary strengths and competencies. If the list doesn't fit in with your personal style, highlight two or three striking accomplishments that differentiate you from other candidates.
Don't let your resume hinder your job search. Refine the top of your resume or online profile until it gets the attention you deserve.

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