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Whether you have over a decade of experience or the best training and education available, a resume has the power to make a great or poor first impression to employers if commonly-made mistakes make their way in. Looking over sample resumes is a fantastic way to avoid these mistakes, so we’ve asked our experts to find errors and give solutions so you know how to perfect your own resume.
Lengthen the professional summary
The professional summary gives applicants an opportunity to quickly sell their best assets to a potential employer. This area is designed to highlight the most relevant skills, traits, experience and education for a desired job, while allowing an applicant to describe himself in an ideal way. It should be four to six lines long. Darrell’s summary barely touches the second line, so he needs to write several more sentences, taking full advantage of this area.
Ensure there are enough details in the experience section
The employment history section of a resume needs to represent an applicant’s duties, training and skills, but if it’s too short, it may not be very effective. Darrell only includes a few details for each job, falling short of the recommended five to eight points. He should come up with a few more duties that would best reflect his experience at each position.
Write past employment in past tense
All ongoing duties should be written in the present tense and all past duties should be written in the past tense. This applicant does a good job for the most part following this rule, but he has some spots where the rule is inconsistently used. He needs to go through the resume carefully to catch these areas and change them.
Place current employment at the top of the experience section
The first thing in the experience section should always be the most recent employment or any current employment. This applicant lists current employment second. To fix this, Darrell needs to move it to the top.
Always use bullet points to create clarity
As seen in the highlights section of this resume, bullet points create a sense of clarity and make information easily accessible. The experience section, however, doesn’t include them, making for a much harder read. This is a problem for an employer if they have dozens or hundreds of resumes to skim through. Darrell should fix this problem by making sure each detail has its own bullet point and that all of them are placed in a vertical list. WRONG: Warehouse Assistant AMF Warehouse Houston District Houston, TX Receive equipment from closed bowling centers, inventory and organize for storage. Ship equipment to centers as needed. Operated powered lift trucks, floor sweepers, pallet jacks and forklifts safely, with a 0% incident rate. Unloaded, picked, staged and loaded products for shipping. B-Mechanic AMF Alpha Lanes Webster, TX Perform preventive maintenance and repairs on AMF 82-70 pinspotting equipment. Operate and maintain Kegel Kustodian lane conditioning machine. Perform general repairs to facility (HVAC, food and beverage equipment, carpentry, plumbing). RIGHT: B-Mechanic AMF Alpha Lanes Webster, TX
Warehouse Assistant AMF Warehouse Houston District Houston, TX
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