So much of our success is simply determined by how well we clearly communicate, that we owe it to ourselves and our prospective employers to buff up our abilities, preferably with minimum pain and maximum gain.
Here are six sure-fire ways to liven up your resume and cover letter and keep your human resources staff or hiring manager engaged. Even better, not a single writing suggestion mentions the words
grammar, spelling or punctuation!
Use resonant flesh-and-blood characters rather than boring old nouns. We understand the need to quantify items on a resume but if we were writing a job description about sales, my characters would be clients and customers with less emphasis projections and results.
Use action words that propel your readers along. We love to see verbs that power us visually from one place to another, rather than just sit there.
Perform the 8-word test. Keep your characters and actions within 8 words of each other, so your reader can easily follow who is doing what. The fewer words between the nouns and verbs the better.
Link complex sentences and phrases with connectors to help your reader navigate through the text. Good connector words, for example, are however, because of this, therefore, thus, and so on.
Lead your resume readers from old information (first) to new information (second). Establish common ground in your message development, gently nudging your prospective employer from comfortable familiar territory into the strange and new.
Use the Problem-Solution-Action paradigm. One of the most common resume writing complaints we hear from our clients is they don't know where to begin. If you start with a problem statement, followed by a solution proposal, and wrap it up with an action plan, the resume can write itself!
There you go -- give the tips a try the next time you are editing or writing a resume, and see if you get a call back. For samples of well written samples check out our most popular guide, "The New Federal KSA."