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Most recruiters have too little time (and too heavy a workload) to read your resume to figure out what you want to do. So instead of using a meaningless objective, use a title that shows you understand the employer’s needs, e.g.: Administrative Assistant, Project Manager, Marketing Assistant, Operations Manager. More than one target position? Use more than one title, especially if the functions are related, e.g., Marketing Assistant ~ Event Manager.

When you describe your role, use words that clarify. If the reader can’t figure out what your job entails and how you add value, there is no need to pursue your candidacy. Jobs today are increasingly more complex. Give a brief description of your most important tasks. Then tell the reader what problems you’ve solved and challenges you’ve overcome; explain what you did to save/stretch resources; how you’ve created value in products, services and/or processes. Say so loud and clear, because you may not get another opportunity. Remember: the bottom line for the employer is the bottom line!

If you can’t support statements in the body of the resume that you’ve made at the top of the resume regarding your “successful” performance and “outstanding” results, you won’t pass initial scrutiny, because you’ll be competing with candidates who provide context for their achievements, understand that the employer is looking for value, and know that nothing has more impact in the marketplace than quantifiable results.

Next, if you’re applying online, you need a text version of your resume to upload. Uploading a nicely formatted Word document into an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that many employers use to manage their recruiting process is likely to be disappointing if you don’t. There will likely be odd characters and text will flow into impenetrable blocks—making on-screen reading difficult—and those painstaking underlines, boldface type and italics you added for emphasis will disappear.

Ellie Vargo, MRW, CCMC