DALLAS, June 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A resume is usually the first impression a job applicant leaves on a potential employer, so it's important to think strategically. It's also important to know that some traditional rules of resume writing have changed, says David Kiger, CEO and founder of Worldwide Express, a Dallas-based global package and freight shipping firm.
Kiger suggested five tactics to make the right first impression, including a well-written, properly formatted resume that effectively communicates your professional background without fluff. It is always best to present your history openly and succinctly.
Some rules of thumb have evolved over the years, including the old keep-it-to-one-page rule. Another development: It's also important now to pay attention to keywords.
"Employers today expect a clean, polished and professional resume that is full of keywords," Kiger said. "Lacking any of these elements is likely to land you in the 'reject' pile."
The Worldwide Express CEO offered these five strategies to ensure that your resume makes it past square one:
1. The look. Keep it simple. Use basic resume paper — white, off-white, beige, etc. Nothing extreme. No pink paper, and no black paper with reversed-out white text. No pictures. Put it on thicker-than-normal paper, but it doesn't have to be some ridiculous boutique parchment. Simplicity goes for the font as well. Stick to the standards: Cambria, Georgia, Helvetica, Franklin Gothic. Keep the font size to the 9- or 10-point range. Squeezing text can make employers squint, and bloated fonts look like a children's book.
2. One page or two? There was a time when a two-page resume was the equivalent of doodling in the margins. The second page was a huge no-no, the experts said, because brevity is best. But times have changed, and two pages are now the norm. It's especially helpful for those with more than 10 years in the workforce, to allow enough room to highlight the skills and experience acquired. Don't sell yourself short by sticking to a page (and don't squeeze the font down so small that it's unreadable). If you find you're padding the second page with unnecessary details, one page is perfectly acceptable. For just those starting out, keep it to one.
3. Don't forget the keywords. Most resumes are submitted electronically, which brings the art of the keyword into play. Many employers have software to detect these crucial keywords, and the right ones can improve your chances of being seen. The others can be weeded out of the process. Your best bet is to look at the job listings that interest you and see how the tasks are described. Then try to match your wording accordingly, assuming you have the experience required. Make sure it stays readable, so if you do get past the software, it catches the attention of the next stop in the chain — the employer.
4. Include volunteering. Personal interests should be left out of your resume, but don't skimp on volunteer work. Such efforts can help you stand out, especially if they are of interest to the employer. But make sure that your attempts to appear well-rounded don't go awry. Skip any volunteer acts that could appear political or controversial. That could negate any feelings of goodwill.
5. Don't go viral. From the common-sense department: A resume or cover letter shouldn't be fodder for social-media mockery. The perfect example is the ambitious college student who sought employment with J.P. Morgan in 2012. His word choice was so outlandish that it got out and became an Internet joke, as chronicled by Gawker. No one "performs basic office functions with terrifying efficiency." And no employer needs to hear this: "That semester I achieved a 3.93, and in the same time I managed to bench double my bodyweight and do 35 pull-ups."
For more information, please contact Sarah Dunn at 972-850-5862 or via email at [email protected].
About Worldwide Express
Worldwide Express is a global logistics company based in Dallas that has handled millions of package and freight shipments for more than 30,000 small to midsize businesses. With more than 150 franchises across the country, Worldwide Express is one of the largest authorized resellers of express shipping for UPS®, as well as a trusted freight partner to more than 55 carriers. To learn more, visit http://www.wwex.com.
Contact: Sarah Dunn
SOURCE Worldwide Express