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Writing the perfect resume
By CHRISTINE L. ROMERO The Arizona Republic
There are lots of obvious "don'ts" when it comes to writing a resume.

Don't misspell words. Don't use hot-pink paper. Don't lie.

But the finer points sometimes make resume-writing a pain. Scan the shelves at most bookstores, and you'll see dozens of books on how to write a killer resume that scores the job. Sometimes writing the resume is tough enough, but reading an entire book on the subject?

"The resume is the most valuable piece of real estate that you own," said Fred Coon, president of Phoenix-based FEC Career Services, which offers job search and resume writing services nationwide.

He explained his point this way: You need to pay your bills, for which you need money, so you need a job, and nobody will call you for a decent job without a workable resume.

"It drives everything else," he said.

Coon argues that all people are hired for one reason only: to fix problems. This drives his thinking about the job search.

Resume writing is an art, and Coon does it for a living. He offered some of the inside tricks of the trade:

  • Wasted space. Use a clean horizontal line for your name, addresses and phone numbers. Some people stack their information vertical wasting precious space.

  • Flat objective statements. Everybody says they want to use their skills in a stimulating environment. But that's obvious, Coon said. Instead, tell people what you can do. He favors breaking down "core competencies," which spell out a job seeker's skills.

  • Don't forget your name. How obvious is this? Believe it or not, many high-level professionals neglect to put their information on all pages of their resumes. Coon says a multiple-page resume is fine, especially if you have 10 or more years of experience. But don't forget the obvious.

  • References by request. "What? You aren't going to give good references?" Coon said. Nothing, aside from misspelled words, irritates recruiters more. Put your references on the resume.

  • Consistency rules. Pick one way of doing something and stick with it. For example, in writing addresses that include a state name, pick one way -- Arizona, Ariz., or AZ - and stick with it.