Will applying for a job in a different state hurt my chances for hire? What should I do differently from local applications?

QUESTION: How do I turn a good resume into a great resume?


Edward Lawrence, Getstarted LLC

A great resume is like a movie trailer. Compared to the movie of your life, it is brief; demonstrates action and passion; includes only the best stuff; and doesn’t try to explain everything. It looks good; it talks a good story. It shows care went into the production. It knows its audience. It persuades them to think, “I’ve got to see you!”

Cathy Lanzalaco, Inspire Careers

The difference between a good resume and a great one is impact, and impact=value: show the company what you’ve accomplished, the difference you’ve made, and how you did it. Great resumes are aligned with the specific job posting, weaving a blend of hard and soft skills that create a compelling brand that help employers see you in that job.

Sara C Timm, CareerServicesPro.com

Don’t overlook formatting when taking your resume from good to great. A well-formatted resume is straightforward and easy to read, drawing attention to your most compelling accomplishments. By employing a strategic approach to formatting, you ensure your suitability for the role is easily identified by recruiters and hiring managers.

Grant Cooper, Strategic Resumes & Business Plans

The most direct way to enhance your resume is to identify a top-level, credentialed resume writer in order to craft a resume that is visually attractive, responsive to the positions you are seeking, aligns with ATS technology, focuses on achievements, provides quantifiable metrics, is the appropriate length, and uses the latest in resume best practices to attract interviews.

Nancy Grant, Regional Career & Employment Services

Focus less on tasks and responsibilities and focus more on accomplishments. Summarize your description and then highlight your performance outcomes. Synthesize your resume to match the specific goals the employer is targeting. A great resume tells a story quickly, so don’t bury the great among the good. Ensure what is most important is highlighted and easy to find.

Thomas Powner, Career Thinker, Inc.

📌 Quantify achievements (e.g., increased sales by 20%).
📌 Every bullet in career history needs to be valued based vs job function.
📌 Tailor it to each job, matching keywords from job descriptions.
📌 Use a clean, professional layout.
📌 Start with a strong branding statement.
📌 Include relevant skills and experiences only.

Jaime Chambron , Career Agility System

Great resumes include all of the following:
– Formatted both for the human eye and ATS
– Show the job title you are seeking at the top
– Clearly state your brand promise – what you do for whom and the value you provide
– Identify 3-5 items that differentiate you
– Provide examples of value and outcomes you enabled.

Scott Gardner, Vitae Express

To turn a good resume into a great one, focus on quantifying achievements, use action verbs, tailor it to the specific job, and ensure a clean, professional layout. Highlight relevant skills and experiences, and include precise metrics to demonstrate impact. Proofread meticulously to avoid any errors and consider feedback from professionals in your field. Keep it concise.

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If you’re looking for more information on how to write a great resume – or get an expert to help you with yours – you’ve come to the right place! This site was created by the National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA), a US-based non-profit association with members from around the world who are dedicated to learning about and providing expertise in resume writing to all job seekers.

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