With 12 years of resume writing experience behind me, I have acquired quite a few little tips and techniques that come automatically to me but might be unfamiliar to those who are writing or rewriting their resume for the first time.
On finding accomplishments: Any industry awards you received, any business you brought in, any committees you chaired, and any dollars you saved the company are clear accomplishments. But so are the awards you were nominated for, the growth your company underwent while you were there, the committees you were a member of, and the efficiencies you brought to your own job. Accomplishments in volunteer positions are also important.
On finding good keywords: Your best guide as to what a company is looking for is the company itself. Look at the advertisements, job postings, and websites for the company or others in the same industry. List the words they are using over and over again, and make sure those words appear naturally in your resume.
On proofreading: Forget that adage about proofreading by reading the text backwards. You will not only lose concentration out of sheer boredom, you will never find errors in grammar. Always proofread from first word to last at least twice: once on paper and once online. When you proofread online, set the zoom level over 100%. That way you will be sure to see missing or extra periods or other problems that might be hard to spot.
On using resources: No one knows everything, especially not online spelling and grammar checkers. A physical dictionary and grammar reference are still handy; there are also some online sites run by colleges that answer grammar questions. I once had a client argue with me about her misuse of the word “compliment” in a sentence; it should have been “complement.” But she was absolutely sure the word “compliment” was fine because the spell checker agreed with her. Your instincts and the spell checker’s instincts might agree, but take the time to check a dictionary.
And when you need expert advice on your resume, please turn to Robin’s Resumes®.