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Whether you have years of career experience under your belt or are breaking your way into a field, a resume is a great first step in landing the next great job. However, resumes can hurt your chances if they are sent in to employers without first being checked for mistakes. To help you understand what can go wrong, we’ve asked our resume experts to examine this medical records clerk resume sample and give us their best practices to solve the problems.
Lengthen the professional summary for maximum benefit
It doesn’t matter if an applicant has one year or 20 years of experience in a field: the professional summary section should never be passed up. This is a 30-second long sales pitch where an applicant gets to sell their best assets and relate them to the job they want. It should be four to six lines long to get the most benefit from it. Marie only has one sentence, so she needs to write about her best traits, skills, education, and experience.
Make columns even in the skills or highlights section
It may seem that the content on a resume is the most important thing to an employer, but many times, it isn’t. Formatting is easily recognizable without one word being read, and poor formatting may make an applicant look careless. Marie’s skills section uses columns, which is great, but she doesn’t make them even. She should make sure each column is given an even number of items. If there is an odd number, it’d also be a good idea to remove the weakest item or the one that closely resembles another. WRONG: Skills
Include at least five points in the experience section
This rule is important for anyone, but it is especially important for applicants who don’t have a lot to put in the experience section. Each job should detail five to eight points that best describe an applicant’s work at a job. This can include duties, projects, promotions, and any metric data. Marie only includes three pieces of information in her work history section, so this is an area she needs to increase. It’ll help employers understand exactly what kind of training she has.
Make sure lists are straight
Again, formatting is an issue that always needs addressing. Bullet points have specific rules that need to be followed to create a clear and appealing resume. Each point should be placed in a straight vertical list. Marie’s experience section bullet points are tiered, which makes for an odd looking resume. She needs to use the indent feature on her word processor to fix this error, making sure each dot matches up. WRONG: Work History Office Specialist 2, 11/2010 to Current Ihss San Jose, CA
RIGHT: Work History Office Specialist 2, 11/2010 to Current Ihss San Jose, CA
Now that you have an idea of where your resume can improve, let LiveCareer help you with the next step. You can easily apply these resume sample tips and tricks plus more with Resume Builder.