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Engaging the Resume Reader

How do you catch the attention of an over-worked human resources resume screener to keep them reading beyond the first few phrases? What will keep your resume from being quickly tossed into the circular file? Dazzle the resume reader and show your personality a bit. Resumes need not be dull.

Information overload is running rampant, and the person reviewing your resume is dog-tired and overworked. He’s tired of scanning resumes and screening applicants and just wants to go home for the weekend. Will the cover letter and resume you presented engage the reviewer to read past the first half of the page? Put yourself in that person’s shoes and think about what might win your attention – words with sizzle and spice, strong initial portrayal of skills, compelling evidence of value. Also, consider what will not draw attention – overused phrases, excessive wordiness, lack of credibility, and boring empty claims. The new challenge for job applicants is balancing creativity with professionalism.

As far as resumes go, traditional executives and others in the business field need to remain conservative, yet dazzling in verbiage and accomplishments. Other industries may be open to more contemporary and innovative resume tactics like infusing timelines, graphs, resume “maps” and other visuals. If you are in an artistic or graphics field, you should check out, a website that converts your standard resume into an illustrative resume with charts and graphs galore, a nice visual change for hiring managers.

What about engaging readers in cover letters? We all know there are plenty of hiring personnel who don’t bother to read cover letters. However, some will not even consider a candidate who applies without one. To be safe, a cover letter should always be included and specifically tailored for the position and receiving company. Letters are boring though, right? Well, they can be, but with the right wording, a letter can be a powerful, energizing connection to the resume. You don’t want to simply restate everything on that’s on your resume. Use different language and phrases to convey the same energy and professional value and as well as adding enthusiasm.

It’s your job to catch the reader’s eye, compel the reader to digest your resume, and get them fired up to interview you. You’ve got to think like a harried, weary resume screener. Would you choose you? If notFind Article, you’ve got some work to do.

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Krista Mitchell is a Certified Professional Resume Writer crafting resumes designed to showcase your value with impact and is a leading job search industry expert. Her website also features articles to aid you in your job search. Free comprehensive resume reviews as well as full resume and cover letter writing services offered. ~Pages for the next chapter in your career...~

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