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Make your resume stand out from the stack

With 13.9 million Americans seeking work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, grabbing an employer's attention quickly and leaving a positive impression is critical. According to a recent CareerBuilder study, nearly half of human resource managers said they spend, on average, less than one minute reviewing an application. When asked to recall the most memorable or unusual resumes, they shared the following. PRNewswire

• Candidate said the more you paid him, the harder he worked.

• Candidate was fired from different jobs, but included each one as a reference.

• Candidate said he just wanted an opportunity to show off his new tie.

• Candidate listed her dog as reference.

• Candidate listed the ability to do the moonwalk as a special skill.

• Candidate included "versatile toes" as a selling point.

• Candidate said that he would be a "good asset to the company," but failed to include the "et" in the word "asset."

• Candidate's e-mail address on the resume had "shakinmybootie" in it.

• Candidate used first name only.

• Candidate asked, "Would you pass up an opportunity to hire someone like this? I think not."

• Candidate insisted that the company pay him to interview with them because his time was valuable.

• Candidate shipped a lemon with resume, stating "I am not a lemon."

• Candidate included that he was arrested for assaulting his previous boss.

A resume should prove your worth

Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder offers the following tips for making a resume stand out for the right reasons:

Stay relevant. Remember that you are only applying for one position at a time. Only list experience that is relevant to the job description or reword past experience so that it's clear it will transfer to the new role.

Go easy on the eyes. Use formatting — bullets, line breaks, headers, readable font, wide margins — that guides readers' eyes to the bottom of the page. Keep your descriptions to the point and trim out any unnecessary words.

Include a professional summary. Instead of writing an objective that states what job you want, craft a professional summary recapping your relevant experience in one or two sentences. Done well, this may convince hiring managers to spend longer than a minute with your resume or application.

Proofread . . . then proofread again. Some hiring managers toss any resume that contains spelling, grammar or formatting errors — regardless of experience. Even if you can't find typos, e-mail it to friends and family. Odds are they'll find something you missed.

Make your resume stand out from the stack 09/12/11 [Last modified: Monday, September 12, 2011 5:00pm]
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