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Fast Resume Fixes
Copyright CareerBuilder, LLC -- reprinted with permission
There's no question that your resume is a vital tool in any job search. Unfortunately, some job seekers' run-of-the-mill resumes actually hurt their chances of finding the right job. If you have had the same resume for a long time and just are not getting the response you had hoped for, it might be time for a "resume makeover." Here are five resume makeover tips that might put you back on the right path.

1. Think about your target audience.

A resume is nothing more an advertisement. What are you trying to sell? Yourself. The first thing advertising executives do when selling a new product is identify the target audience. When revamping your resume, this should also be your first step. Make sure each resume you send is customized to the position and the company's needs.

2. Make sure you have the right type of resume.

There are two types of resumes: functional and chronological. While most people are familiar with chronological resumes, which include qualifications listed by past employer in reverse chronological order, you may want to consider a functional resume instead. Chronological resumes are best suited for those with a good amount of experience or individuals on a standard career path. Functional resumes highlight your abilities rather than your work history and work well for those who are re-entering the workforce, transitioning to a new field, or have frequently changed jobs.

3. Include an objective or skills summary.

Like any other sales pitch, your resume needs to gain the reader's attention right away. One way to do this is by telling them who you are right away through an objective or skills summary section. This lets the reader know what you bring to the table, right up front. Another idea to consider is following up your introduction statement with a bulleted list of skills or core competencies. Think about the skills you have gained from your experience and list those at the top of your resume.

4. Focus on accomplishments rather than job duties.

It is important to use your resume to demonstrate how you can benefit the company and illustrate how you have benefited other organizations or solved problems in the past. Include a brief one or two sentence description of your job responsibilities, but then focus on specific accomplishments. Instead of saying "wrote press releases and company materials," tout your value by telling the reader that you "developed media materials that resulted in nationwide media coverage."

5. Add some hard data.

Anyone can say that they were successful at a job, but not everyone has the numbers to back up their claims. Including evidence - numbers, dollar amounts, or other hard data - will make you stand out from the crowd.

The bottom line is that with a little work and attention, your resume makeover can help you go from just another candidate to the candidate at the top of the pack!

Copyright 2004. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority.