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Heifetz suggests adding an accomplishments section right after your opener that makes the bridge between your experience and the job requirements.“These are main points you want to get across, the powerful stories you want to tell,” she says. “If you haven’t convinced me that you have those skills by the end of the resume, I’m not going to believe it now,” she explains.

After the accomplishments section (if you add it), list your employment history and related experience. Be selective It’s tempting to list every job, accomplishment, volunteer assignment, skill, and degree you’ve ever had. “Readers are quite tolerant of non-job related stuff but you have to watch your tone,” says Lees. “Give people a sense of your management style,” says Heifetz. If you’re able to attach percentages or dollar signs, people will pay even more attention.” Here’s a sample senior executive resume that does this well (source: Jane Heifetz, Right Resumes).

If you’re applying for a job at a more informal company that emphasizes the importance of work-life balance, you might include a line about your hobbies and interests. Of course, you can’t and shouldn’t quantify everything; you don’t want your resume to read like an accounting report. Lees says the days of a one-page resume are over: “It used to be that you used a tiny font size and crammed in the information to make it fit.” Nowadays, two or three pages is fine, but that’s the limit: “Any more than three and it shows that you can’t edit.” Heifetz agrees: “I’ve never met a resume that fit on one page, even for a recent graduate. It’s how clear, clean, and elegant it is in its simplicity,” says Heifetz.

For a more formal, buttoned-up place, you’ll probably want to take out anything personal. If you’re going to tell a compelling story, you need more space.” You can supplement what’s on the page with links to your work but you have to “motivate the hiring manager to take the extra step required. Tell them in a brief, one-line phrase what’s so important about the work you’re providing,” says Heifetz. Vary the line length and avoid crammed text or paragraphs that look identical.

The resume: there are so many conflicting recommendations out there. This may be your best chance to make a good first impression, so you’ve got to get it right.

Do you include personal interests and volunteer gigs?

What the Experts Say “There’s nothing quick or easy about crafting an effective resume,” says Jane Heifetz, a resume expert and founder of Right Resumes.Don’t think you’re going to sit down and hammer it out in an hour.“You have to think carefully about what to say and how to say it so the hiring manager thinks, ‘This person can do what I need done,’” she says.After all, it’s more than a resume; “it’s a marketing document,” says John Lees, a UK-based career strategist and author of Open strong The first 15-20 words of your resume are critically important “because that’s how long you usually have a hiring manager’s attention,” says Lees. You’ll have the opportunity to expand on your experience further down in your resume and in your cover letter. “It’s a very rich, very brief elevator pitch,” says Heifetz.“You need to make it exquisitely clear in the summary that you have what it takes to get the job done.” It should consist of a descriptor or job title like, “Information security specialist who…” “It doesn’t matter if this is a job title you have or ever did,” says Lees. Here are two examples: And be sure to avoid clichés.Using platitudes in your summary or anywhere else in the document is “basically like saying, ‘I’m not more valuable than anyone else,’” explains Lees. Get the order right If you’re switching industries, don’t launch into job experience that the hiring manager may not think is relevant.