Past Issues

September 05, 2011

Resume Tips to Get You The Interview

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Resume Tips to Get You The Interview

By Robert Half Finance and Accounting

In a job search, your resume plays an important role. It highlights your strengths and qualifications for prospective employers and can entice them to call you for an interview.

But when you apply for an opening, your resume could be just one of dozens, or even hundreds. Lacking the time to examine every document in depth, the hiring manager or recruiter may give each resume only a quick once-over.

How can you ensure your resume stands out? Follow these resume guidelines...

Keep it short. Unless you have decades of experience or are applying for a high-level position, keep your resume to one or two pages. To save space -- and impress the hiring manager -- prune anything not related to the specific job you seek.

Use a clean, uncluttered format. Your resume should be easy to follow, with clearly marked sections. Use headings for main ideas and bullet points for specifics. Don't try to cram in more information by using small type or narrow margins, and incorporate plenty of white space so the page doesn't look like a sea of type. Use boldface and italics sparingly, and bear in mind that underlined text and copy set in all capitals is hard to read.

Lead with an objective. At the top of your resume, include a short statement outlining your career goals and the type of position you are looking for, along with two or three credentials that qualify you for the role. Concentrate on the value you can bring to the company and what it will gain from hiring you.

Customize the resume (when possible). Submitting a one-size-fits-all resume for every posting is not always best. Instead, alter the content to highlight your skills and accomplishments that fit the opening you are targeting. You can create one generic resume and then adapt your cover letter to each specific opportunity you're applying for.

Use keywords. Your resume may be scanned into a database and searched for keywords relevant to the job you seek. Examples of keywords include specific tasks or responsibilities, job titles, computer programs, or certifications. Integrate keywords into the text of your work history or objective statement.

Show successes. Demonstrate how you have contributed to former employers and how your next employer will benefit from hiring you. Use action words, verbs such as "increased" and "implemented," for example.

Quantify your accomplishments. State exactly how you affected a former company's bottom line. Include the cost savings, budget size, percent improvement in productivity, number of projects completed per year and similar figures. By quantifying your accomplishments, you demonstrate a business perspective and give hiring managers concrete evidence of your abilities.

Proofread, proofread, proofread. Make sure your resume contains no misspelled words or errors in grammar and punctuation. Typos show a lack of attention to detail. Nearly half the executives polled in a survey by Robert Half said just one typo would disqualify a candidate from consideration. The lesson: Proofread, and ask an eagle-eyed friend to go over your resume.

Robert Half Finance & Accounting provides professionals with skills well-matched to your accounting and finance needs with over 350 employment agencies worldwide. To learn more, visit

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