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Radford Words: Employers Looking for Short and Simple Resumes

Radford Words
Employers Looking for Short and Simple Resumes

An employer sits down to begin the painstaking chore of sifting through dozens of resumes for that one coveted position in the company. Page lengths vary, and type sizes and styles take off in several directions. The employer's time is valuable. They want to know educational and previous employment information and skills.
Don Samson, a professor of English at Radford University, says it is important to focus on content: there is no substitute for relevant education and experience. A common mistake, Samson says, is to dress up the appearance of the resume in an effort to offset insufficient educational and work experience.
The most common mistakes in resumes include using uncommon type styles and fonts, inflating previous work experience, lacking enough detail to fill a page and assuming that submitting a resume is enough to pique the interest of the company.
Research the company before submitting your resume and refrain from telling the employer what they already know about themselves, Samson says. "Show that you've done research. Talk about how you are prepared through your education and experience to do what the company needs someone to do."
Remembering even the simplest methods of presentation can make a huge impact on a resume screener. For example, professionals in the field of printing and publishing suggest never folding a laser-printed sheet on a line of text. The ink is likely to flake or smear, giving the appearance of a hastily done resume. If the resume has been printed on a press, let the ink dry before folding and mailing.
The following are additional tips for effective resumes.
* Use Times New Roman 12 point type and print the resume on 20# bond paper. The resume needs to convey a professional image.
* Don't revise your resume for different positions within the same field. Samson says, "Your resume describes you, and you don't change you to fit a particular job that you are interested in." Samson also advises submitting a letter of application that shows how the candidate could meet specific requirements and duties. "Tailor your letter of application to the position, not your resume," he says.
* Age, height, weight, health, marital status, nationality and race should not be included.
* Describe education and work experience in reverse chronological order. Samson says, "What you have done most recently is most important." Describe educational background first if the applicant is completing a degree that qualifies them for the job.
* Use action verbs. Say "tested" instead "responsible for testing."
* Be simple and straightforward. If you served food, say you served food.
* Career objectives should only be included if they would really help. "If you state a career objective broad enough for most positions you apply for, it will be too general," Samson says. "Most experts recommend using an objective only if you are looking for work in a different field from your present one."
Most importantly, proofread and proofread again. Typographical and grammatical errors do a lot of damage. Samson stresses, "Make no mistakes. You want to suggest that you can do an important job well." Before submitting the resume and letter of application, ask an experienced proofreader to review them.

Article courtesy of Radford University (

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