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Resume Makeover

Gain helpful hints and tips on how to make dramatic improvements in your resume.

Resume Makeover

by Kevin Donlin

I'd like to tell you about a fast, easy way to make a dramatic improvement in your resume.

It's this -- ask a trusted friend to read it. Sounds obvious, right?

If it were, I wouldn't see as many misspellings, grammatical errors, cluttered layouts and just plain boring content in the dozens of resumes people send me every week to review.

Why so many mistakes? Most folks are just too involved with the story of their resumes to accurately judge the content. They fail to see gaffes in spelling or grammar that are obvious to someone reading their resume for the first time.

That's why it's crucial to get a second opinion from someone you trust. Preferably from two, three or four people, if you have time.

Content is most important, so ask your friend this: "Would this resume make you want to call me for an interview today?" If the answer is yes, congratulations! If not, ask your friend EXACTLY what he or she would change. Then get a second opinion to look for problem areas that come up repeatedly.

A sneaky way to check the "readability" of your resume is to ask your friend to read it aloud. Listen for pauses or breaks in their voice - these indicate sentences that may be unclear. Revise later to make them smoother.

When your friends are reading your resume, ask them to check these four areas: spelling, spacing between words, punctuation and content.

A spell checker won't spot the difference between there, their and they're, but another person will! So ask your friends to circle every word that isn't 100% clear. This will help you produce a resume that's 100% accurate.

And be sure to print the resume before you proofread it. You'd be surprised at how many errors become visible on a printed page versus a computer screen.

There are other areas, but these should get you started.

Best of luck to you!

Kevin Donlin owns and operates Guaranteed Resumes. Since 1995, he has provided resumes, cover letters and online job-search assistance to clients. This article and hundreds like it on topics ranging from networking to resume writing to finding internships also appear in The Last Job Search Guide You'll Ever Need, a self-help job guide.

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