Resume Writing Strategies

Your resume is usually the first chance you have to make an impression on a potential employer. It's important to highlight your strengths, give a peek into who you are, and clearly demonstrate the value you could bring to their organization.

While it's easy to simply create a list of your past jobs and responsibilities, it can be harder to convey the right points to make your resume stand out. Here are some tips to help your resume shine:

Write a Customized Resume for Each Job

In the age of LinkedIn's Easy Apply and job boards with endless listings, it's easy to send one generic resume to as many employers as possible. But this tactic is often a waste of your and the employer's time.

Even though it takes more time to write a customized resume for each job you apply for, it's worth it. A custom resume allows you to highlight the specific qualifications and experiences you have that apply directly to that unique position—increasing your likelihood of getting the job.

Choose the Right Format

Depending on your personal and professional circumstances, the format of your resume can help highlight the right skills and experiences, particularly if you are transitioning settings.

  • A chronological resume lists work history and experiences in reverse chronological order. This is the best format if your work history has been consistent with few gaps in employment or when you are applying for a position that is similar to your current work history.
  • A functional resume emphasizes skills and functions and focuses less on chronological order. This is the best format if your work history has a number of gaps in employment or if you are applying for a position that differs from your previous work. Focus on relevant skills you can use in the new position.
  • A combination resume is a blend of both chronological and functional resumes formats. It starts with your skills and qualifications at the top and includes your reverse chronological work history near the bottom, allowing the employer to get a full understanding of your work history. This is the best format if you have an extensive work history and you want to focus on specific experiences, but also want to include your entire work history.

Highlight and Prioritize Your Strengths and Goals

Make it easy for employers to see that you are a good match. List the most important and relevant experience first, along with key accomplishments listed at the top of each position. Include the same keywords that appear in the job description, and use the Scope of Practice in Audiology or the Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology to include the skills you want to highlight. Sometimes, your interviewer will be from outside the profession, so using clearly defined functions and outcomes will help you move away from simply listing responsibilities to highlighting successes.

Pick the Right Font Size and Type

When writing a resume, it's essential to use a simple font that is easy to read, both for hiring managers and for applicant management systems. Human resource professionals advise against using Times New Roman—it's overused and can make your resume blend in with the others. Instead, consider using one of these fonts:

  1. Garamond
  2. Gill San
  3. Cambria
  4. Calibri
  5. Helvetica
  6. Georgia
  7. Avenir

No matter the font you choose, make sure it's at least 10 point font.

Length

Resumes should be no more than two pages long; however, a curriculum vitae (CV) can be longer. The key is making sure all relevant information is included.

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