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Executive Director, Career Directors International
Laura DeCarlo is recognized as the ‘career hero' for her efforts in the career services industry for both job seekers and career professionals as the founder of the professional association, Career Directors International (<a>http://www.careerdirectors.com/</a>).
She has earned two degrees and 11 industry certifications and designations such as Master Career Director and Certified Expert Resume Writer. Further, she has received the industry's most prestigious awards which include the Master Career Professional Lifetime Achievement Award and Master Resume Writer Lifetime Achievement Award as well as 7 additional awards in job placement and resume writing.
Laura DeCarlo is the author of Interviewing: The Gold Standard and Interview Pocket RX, and is the co-author of Job Search Bloopers. She has been featured in over 15 resume and cover letter compendiums. Currently, she is the national/international resume expert for 54 professional associations and she is the interviewing expert for Job-Hunt.org. Throughout her career she has spearheaded the development of numerous training programs and presentations for job seekers and career professionals, which have been presented at conferences, corporations, online, and to the federal government.
She is a former 2-year employment guest columnist for The Florida Today newspaper. She is the current principal of A Competitive Edge Career Service, a turnkey career services firm. Publicity has included quotes in publications such as Forbes (IMPRESS), Working Mother and the Wall Street Journal; she also appeared on NBC 7/39 News in San Diego and was interviewed on Wall Street Journal Radio.
Making Your Resume Stand Out
Certified Expert Resume Writer Laura DeCarlo teaches you how to make your resume stand out from the rest.
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Laura Decarlo: Hi! I am Laura Decarlo, certified expert resume writer and President of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches, Career Directors International. I am sharing strategies for creating your dynamic and compelling resume. Right now, I am going to give you final tips for putting all the strategies together to create your new resume. The greatest challenge you face now is blank page syndrome. This phenomenon occurs when you know everything you are supposed to put in your resume, but you have no idea how to get started. So I am going to make getting through this very easy. Depending on where you are more comfortable, you might start with a stack of notebook paper or a blank computer screen. All you are going to do on this pass is to perform an information dump. You might want to assemble some reference materials such as job descriptions, diplomas or transcripts, letters of recommendation, awards or evaluations. In short, anything that can help you remember what you have accomplished and what you have done. Now, you can begin putting down information, listing everything you can think of in each section of the resume. You'll spend the majority of your time in your work history section listing all your responsibilities. On your second pass, you will hone in on your list of responsibilities to flesh out each one with your CAR stories or Challenges, Actions and Results. On your third pass, you will hone down your CAR stories and begin to craft the final, concise and dynamic wording for your content. This is most likely when you will finally fill in the Summary and Keyword sections of the resume.
On your fourth pass, you'll attempt to format each section from top to bottom, looking at ways to make information standout visually and be quick and easy to read. Now, you might have exactly what you want to say but it is just too long. Too long for all but the most senior of executives, consultants, or some health care and scientific professions is anything over two pages. Your next or fifth pass is going to include taking your beautiful content and rewriting it, reformatting it and honing it down to fit the space you have. A few formatting elements to think about in this final formatting and wording include white space on each page so that the document does not feel too crowded or hard to read. You can do this by keeping large margins such as 0.
8 inch or 1 inch. Make your section headers larger than your body text, so they draw the eye. Use techniques such as bolding and italics sparingly to draw the eye. Avoid underlining as it can inhabit the keyword scanning of your resume; maintain consistent verb use with past tense being your best option when including results. Avoid thick content, such as long lines of bullets or heavy paragraphs. Instead, find ways to break the content up into bit-sized pieces. Stick with standard font choices such as Arial or Times New Roman and use body font sizes that are readable such as 10-12 points. Writing your resume is not one hour process where you type it into a template and are done. If you are going to create a dynamic and compelling resume that helps you stand out from the competition, you'll need patience, creativity and perhaps a little bit of time looking at your thesaurus for vibrant words. The time you put in will pay off in the quality of your final document.