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Job Search Troubles? Improve Your Resume

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There's no question that the job search takes time, and some of that time should be spent determining where you can improve. This isn't to say you should immediately change gears, but reassessing your searches on a regular basis can help you avoid any mistakes. A majority of search mistakes are often made on resumes, but they can be caught just as easily as they're made.

Big Think reported that with the current odds in the job market, making sure you have a great resume to get off on the right foot with employers is key. The resume will be the first thing hiring managers will see from your application, and any missteps can harm your chances of progression. Big Think added that most hiring managers will spend ten seconds, on average, scanning your accomplishments and work history, adding even more of a reason to make sure it's as easy to read as possible.

It's vital that you avoid any spelling mistakes that might unfairly disqualify you - the news source said that as many as 58 percent of resumes have typos - and that you work as hard as possible to make yourself look good. Buzzwords and keywords from your industry can help catch a manager's attention, while using strong verbs to keep their focus will also be a good strategy. The news source recommends strong action verbs that prove you've made a difference in your past work.

Simple, short and sweet

Some specific tips that the news source had in mind may seem basic or easy to understand, but can mean the difference between moving on to an interview or wondering what you've done wrong. It's important to keep things short and sweet, making sure that managers don't become bored or think that you've dedicated too much time to a given topic. They'll also want a simple and readable document in front of them, which makes it important that you don't go overboard with an obtrusive or overly-detailed formatting choice.

Two other recommendations more involve things that you should leave far, far away from the resume in general. No matter how helpful it may seem to add it, adding information about past projects or responsibilities will be wasted if you make the mistake of revealing confidential information. This shows that you're untrustworthy and may even be considered a liability by some managers. Even if it's a little white lie, stretching the truth in any form will also look bad, especially if your references or past managers don't corroborate the results. Employers always fact-check before making hires.

The personal touch

While it's commonly noted that using a first-person perspective in the resume may not be the best idea, Forbes said that may not quite be the case any more. Resumes are just as much branding devices as they are wrapups of your previous experiences, and by adding a personal tone, you might be able to break through to a hiring manager in a way they may not expect.

Of course, that doesn't exactly mean you should pepper your resume with "I did this" and "I did that." Using them conservatively is your best bet. Your personal summary should definitely be from a first-person perspective, showing what you've done and what you want to do with the next chapter of your career. It's also important for you to use "I" to explain the roles you've had in the past and to describe different accomplishments you've achieved over time.

This unorthodox approach may not be for everyone, but it's worth a shot. At the very least, develop a second form of your resume with this focus - it may do better than you'd expect.