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Pare down your resume to get noticed

Tribune Content Agency

1:30 PM EDT, September 19, 2013

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Getting your resume into the hands of a recruiter isn’t very difficult. Now getting a recruiter to actually read your resume? That's the hard part.

“Recruiters are so busy — they’re online, they’re looking at the mail, they have people dropping resumes off,” says Dan Squires, a Plantation, Fla.-based job search and career transition coach and professional resume writer. “Recruiters are inundated with paperwork, so they have to be quick. They make a decision on a resume in a matter of seconds.”

Here are a few common resume mistakes you should strive to avoid when putting together your all-important, potential-defining document.

Watch the offensive words: OK, not offensive words in the four-letter sense. We’re talking about poor grammar, misspellings and bad sentence structure, which are offensive to job recruiters nonetheless.

Don’t create a big mess:  A resume should be organized and clean. Recruiters should be able to glance at your resume and immediately spot the most pertinent information. You have to be able to accomplish that, though, without the use of complicated formatting like using headers, footers, charts or graphs.

Ease up on the objective:  The classic resume objective statement you were taught to use in college is no longer the norm.

Don’t make of laundry list of your job duties: Many people describe their job experiences by listing each duty they performed on each job. This doesn’t tell the recruiter anything specific about your strengths — those job duties could have been performed by anyone in your position. Instead, use your bullet points to highlight the achievements and accomplishments you performed on the job.