As a professional resume writer, I've devised a resume writing system that always gets results. Here are some of my secrets ...

Resume Writing Secret #1 - Target Your Message

I spend more time planning a resume than I do actually writing it. That's because I want to make sure I have the right message for the audience. The best resume writing happens when the client knows exactly what he or she wants to do next. That's because I can target their resume with pinpoint accuracy.

To use this resume writing secret on your own resume, spend some time really analyzing your target employers. What issues do they face? What concerns might they have? Why would they hire someone like you?

Now structure your resume to show them why you can solve these issues. Use the headline and resume profile to highlight exactly why you are the best candidate for the job.

Check out our resume samples for examples that might spark some resume writing ideas.

Resume Writing Secret #2 - Less is More

A common resume writing mistake is to try to say WAY too much. Remember: your resume is the brochure, not the whole catalog. That means you don't have to tell employers everything about yourself - just enough to get their interest. So, keep resume writing secret #1 in mind as you develop your content and try to ensure that you give selected highlights to meet the needs of potential employers.

Resume Writing Secret #3 - Focus on Your Impact

Another common resume writing error is to focus solely on job responsibilities but these are not particularly helpful in letting an employer know about you. Think about it - if you tell an employer about your job responsibilities, you're really telling him what you were supposed to do - not what you did do.

Employers are hiring because they want something done - a problem solved, an opportunity exploited, more money, better customer service - there is always a reason. And in order to make sure that you get interviews, you need to show them that you are the right person for their organization.

You can do that by talking about the impact you've made on past employers.Your past behavior is the best predictor of what you'll do in the future, so make sure you show your accomplishments all the way through your resume.

Resume Writing Secret #4 - Accentuate the Positive

When I'm writing a resume for a client, I often find that they have got stuck on the downside of their background, and that is stopping them from seeing the good things.

If you have concerns, write them down. Now make a list of all the good things you bring to the table. See how much longer the second list is?

Put a big line through the concerns, and focus on the positives. Look for ways to design a resume that will shine a spotlight on the great things you have to boast about.

In my book, The Complete Guide to Resume Writing, I take readers through a step-by-step approach to applying each of these principles, but I hope this introduction has been helpful.