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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.

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.

You don’t want to waste space upfront on irrelevant job experience.

It’s okay to be selective about what employment, achievements, and skills you include; after all, you should tailor your resume for each position.

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.

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.

Heifetz suggests adding an accomplishments section right after your opener that makes the bridge between your experience and the job requirements.

Also conducted regular GMP internal audits and responsible for generating comprehensive audit reports for executive management review.

“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.

“It makes the reader sit up straight and say ‘Holy cow, I want to talk to her. That might be appropriate in academia but for a business resume, you should highlight your work experience first and save your degrees and certifications for the end. If you have expertise with a specific type of software, for example, include it in the experience section. If it doesn’t contribute to convincing the hiring manager to talk to you, then take it out,” says Heifetz. Only include it as part of your experience — right along with your paid jobs — if it’s relevant.

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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.

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