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Career & Employment

April 18, 2011
Volume 89, Number 16
WEB EXCLUSIVE

How To Craft An Attractive Résumé

Linda Wang

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In this competitive job market, having a strong résumé is essential for successfully selling yourself. Abby Kohut, a recruiter and founder of absolutelyabby.com, offers the following strategies for crafting an attractive résumé.

Focus on your accomplishments. The biggest mistake that job seekers make on their résumés is that they list their technical skills but not their accomplishments, Kohut says. "An accomplishment shouldn't be something that you're normally expected to do," she says. "It should be something above and beyond your responsibilities." Former supervisors and past performance reviews can be a good source for accomplishments.

Incorporate keywords. "Every time that you apply to an ad for a position, you need to make sure that the keywords from that ad are on your résumé," says Kohut. "You have to have the right keywords on there because that's the only way that recruiters will find you." And it's not enough to put a keyword in once. "With the search engines, the people whose keywords come up more than once will come up higher on the search ranking," she says.

Highlight your volunteer activities. If you're doing volunteer work or are engaged in other activities to keep your skills sharp, list those under your professional experience. "You have to differentiate yourself," Kohut says. "If you put on your résumé all the books you've read, all the events you've gone to, all the classes you're taking, then you look different than everybody else." Those activities are additional places where you can incorporate job-specific keywords.

Increase your visibility on LinkedIn. Recruiters often use the professional networking site LinkedIn to identify candidates for jobs. Make sure that your profile reflects your résumé. It should be accomplishment-based and incorporate job-specific keywords. Also list any activities that are relevant to the work you're searching for. And try to connect with as many people as possible. You never know whom your contacts will know.

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