The resume often represents a fair amount of controversy in a job search, because everyone – and I mean everyone – has an opinion.

I talk with so many jobseekers day after day who are overwhelmed by the divergent advice received from so many different sources.

The truth of the matter is that there are many approaches to writing an effective resume, and various formats that can adequately represent your skill set and accomplishments. That being said, while your advisors may waver on a variety of topics, there are some aspects of a resume that everyone agrees upon.

A well-written resume should P.R.E.P. you for your next position:

Position-specific language. Nowadays, your resume is likely to pass through a series of automated filters before being seen by the human eye. Incorporating keywords relevant to your industry and target posting will ensure your electronic document makes it onto someone’s desk.

Results-oriented detail. Your resume should be a snapshot of your greatest career accomplishments, rather than a laundry list of job responsibilities. Describe your achievements in a manner that makes it easy for a potential employer to understand your return on investment.

Eye-catching presentation. Your resume is a marketing tool. Use it as such. On average, recruiters take less than 7 seconds to glance at it. Create visual interest with consistent formatting and good use of white space. Capture the readers’ attention with a clear header and powerful executive summary.

Proofread, Proofread, Proofread. Once your resume is complete, proofread it for content and formatting errors. Then check it again and again. This document is representation of your professional self. It tells a potential employer who you are, and what you bring to the table. Nothing will take you out of the running faster than a typo.

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