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Truly impressive resumes make an impact while remaining succinct. Every word you use in your resume must grab the attention of a potential employer. This vital piece of paper may be the only chance you have to convince a potential employer to contact you for an interview. If you describe yourself in a way that sells you as a qualified candidate for the job, you're more likely to get your foot in the door for a face-to-face meeting.
Write your objective with three things in mind; your strongest skill, your strongest desire for your career and the exact job you want. Because the objective is one short statement at the top of your resume, it must make an immediate impact by highlighting the core of who you are as an employee.
Include any honors, such as "cum laude," you received along with your diploma in the "Education" section. Do not include your GPA unless it is particularly impressive. If you are a recent graduate, this section should follow the objective. However, if you have several years of experience, move this section below your "Experience" section.
Review each job you included in your "Experience" section. Focus on action verbs when describing your past positions, such as "managed" and "implemented," and highlight specific accomplishments rather than responsibilities implied by a job title. Omit the use of first person from your descriptions of job duties, and make each point an incomplete sentence. For example, instead of describing a job with, "I was responsible for maintaining the travel budget and created shift schedules," write: "Reduced company travel expenses by 20 percent. Adjusted shift schedules to trim labor by 6 percent."
Compose your "Skills" section to be as specific as possible. For example, instead of general "computer programming skills," list a few more detailed projects that will give the employer an idea of your command over specific software and computer languages. As in the "Experience" section, use incomplete sentences and focus on action verbs.
Revise your "Awards," "Professional Affiliations" or "Volunteer Experience" sections (if applicable) to be as specific as possible. Include a brief statement beneath each award describing the achievement, the organization or the volunteer duties, applying the same style as in your "Experience" section.
Virginia Tech recommends omitting any personal information pertaining to marital status, health and/or religion on your resume when describing yourself.
If you are applying for more than one job, customize your resume for each job. Tailor your descriptions of yourself and your accomplishments and skills according to what each company needs in an employee.
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Kara Page has been a freelance writer and editor since 2007. She maintains several blogs on travel, music, food and more. She is also a contributing writer for Suite101 and has articles published on eHow and Answerbag. Page holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas.