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As we edge down the road to economic recovery, American small businesses are once again poised to play a huge role in job creation. Many business owners have already seen an influx of résumés. After two decades serving as a human resources professional — including 10 years as a recruiter at FedEx — I can relate. Thousands of résumés have crossed my desk over the years. And despite the many ways in which the Internet has made recruiting and job searching easier for both prospective employees and employers, it still remains a daunting challenge to find that perfect match for an open position.
If one thing hasn’t changed over the years for me, it’s the power of an appealing résumé to rise to the top. People often ask me what I look for in a résumé. Whether you’re hunting for talent or for a second job, here are my fail-safe tips for ensuring you look good on paper:
1. Relevance rules. In today’s tough job market, a blanket approach won’t do. Candidates truly interested in a job will take time to include skills and experience that align with the specific job description. Anything less can be perceived as lazy.
2. It’s not a novel. Out of necessity, busy managers tend to scan résumés in a couple of seconds. Short, bulleted sentences that highlight career accomplishments are the résumé reader’s best friend.
3. Spell-check and then some. Grammatical errors and typos on a résumé will cause the hiring manager to question the applicant’s attention to detail. Spell-check software isn’t foolproof. Candidates should print out a hard copy and give it an eagle-eye review before submitting.
4. Bold means business. When used sparingly, a bold font makes the most pertinent details of a résumé stand out. “Sparingly” is the key word here.
5. Make it screen-friendly. Nowadays, many job applications are initially submitted online, so résumés should be formatted to look good on a computer screen. For job seekers wanting to spruce up their résumés, several templates are available for free on the Web.
Keep these ideas in mind no matter what side of the desk you’re sitting on — and good luck!
More “watercooler wisdom”
You can find more business-building tips on the FedEx Office Out of Office Blog.
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FedEx Office is the leading provider of document and business services, with more than 1,800 digitally connected U.S. locations. Whether you’re looking for professional résumé templates, online or in-store printing services, or you simply need to make hard copies of a résumé, visit FedEx Office online or visit your nearest FedEx Office location.
Vicki Bell is a professional recruiter for FedEx Office. She has worked in the human resources field for more than 20 years, including 10 years as a recruiter at FedEx.
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