Writing your resume can be a daunting task. Working with a professional resume writer can help alleviate some of the stress associated with writing your resume because it’s their job to know what to do and what not to do. If you’ve decided to go it alone, here’s a top 5 checklist to help guide you.

1) If you were a recruiter, would you know with a 15 second scan what kind position this applicant was looking for? If not, go back and revise your resume with your job target in mind.
2) Is your resume easy on the eyes? Does it draw your interest and hold it? Things like full justifying the text and making sure all your headings are the same (same font size, centered, etc) can go a long way towards creating an aesthetically pleasing resume.
3) Did you include all necessary contact information? Are all pages identified with your name? Your page one header should include your full name, physical address, phone number and email address. I prefer including cell phone numbers in resumes because you usually have more control over the outgoing message. Home voicemails are more family focused and not as professional sounding. If your resume is more than one page, your page two header or footer should absolutely include your name and, at the very least, your email and phone number in case the pages get separated from each other.
4) Does your resume include the necessary keywords to get picked up by an applicant tracking system (ATS)? Most midsized and large companies utilize some sort of ATS to organize and store applicant data. These systems are designed to pick up on and categorize resumes based on job-specific keywords. When applying for a position, review the job description for keywords and make sure your resume is stocked full of them. Utilize your summary, skills and professional experience section for this.
5) Is your resume scanner-compatible? Not only is it important to ensure that your resume has the appropriate keywords, it also needs to be compatible with ocular recognition (OCR) software that converts your resume into an electronic document. Unnecessary use of irregular bullets, unusual fonts, and excessive formatting should be avoided. Take care never to use a dark background with a white font, as this will be picked up as a shaded area by OCR software. It’s best to keep your resume clean and simple to ensure what a recruiter or hiring manager sees is what you intended.

Rebecca Henninger is a professional resume writer and personal branding consultant. She specializes in personal, one-on-one service and produces resumes that get results for her clients. For more information about personal branding or resume development, or for a resume quote, visit www.rebeccahenninger.com.

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I am a professional resume writer with deep experience as a writer and a marketer, and have been writing compelling and precise copy client and employers for over ten years. I attended the Univerisity of Scranton and graduated with honors with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications and English and a Master of Arts in English. I was the recipient of my alma mater's O'Hara Award, which is given to the graduate student with the highest overall GPA in their respective department. Following graduation, I pursued a career in corporate marketing. I have broad-based marketing experience in B2C and B2B marketing for pharmaceuticals, publishing, software and retail. I have been lucky enough to discover my passion in resume writing, which combines my love of writing, design and building relationships to help people find their dream job. I take a consultative approach to every project I undertake - if you're looking for a big resume company that works with hundreds of clients at the same time, I am not for you! However, if you're looking for someone who will truly listen to you and work with you to create a winning resume that boosts your confidence in your job search, you've come to the right place. Let's get started on your project today so you can get to doing what you love right away!

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