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Resume writing | These professional writers say you're doing it wrong if you include this on your resume

As millions of people quit their jobs for something new, developing the best resume can prove difficult. That's where professional resume writers come in.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November 2021. Some left because they wanted better pay. Others wanted more flexibility in their schedules. And some workers simply wanted a change in career.

Jumping off the ledge to look for a new job, whether it be in a new industry or up the ladder, can be daunting. For many in the job hunt, the first thing potential employers judge is a resume.

For Elaine Katz and Katie Britton, they've turned developing, advising, and coaching people on their resumes into a passion.

Britton is the CEO of The Finesse Resume in Charlotte, and Katz is in charge of Carolina Pineapple, a career development and coaching business.

Their phones have been ringing off the hook lately with people looking for help.

"I have seen an influx in customers, I have seen so many people," Katz said. "Whether it is teachers who are burned out or whether it is people who maybe lost their jobs in the pandemic, a lot of people just want better."

Britton said she's helped people get between 10-50% salary increases, in part, with great resumes.

Below are Katz and Britton's top tips when it comes to crafting the best resume in today's competitive environment.

1. Work from a master resume.

This can be done, said Britton, by identifying what your professional branding is and what your achievements are that transfer over to a potential position. 

Katz advised not to copy and paste the same resume for a variety of jobs. Job-seekers should tailor their resumes to a particular position.

2. Focus on achievements instead of soft skills.

Britton and Katz both agree, soft skills like 'being a nice person' or 'being a hard worker' don't catch a recruiter or boss's eye. 

"They're going to bring you in for an interview if you can increase their revenue by 50%," Britton said. "Or have this multimillion-dollar budget management experience... soft skills are great, but you don't want to do what everybody else is doing. Or else you fall into that same sea of applicants."

3. Update your resume once a quarter.

Katz said updating one's resume keeps achievements fresh and top of mind. 

Britton pointed out even if someone isn't actively looking for a new job, you don't want to be caught flat-footed if your dream job is posted and you don't have an updated resume handy.

The number one thing both Katz and Britton said they see job-seekers make the mistake in building a resume is using the same document for every job. 

"You should be extremely specific in your objective, in your resume," Katz said. "Typically, you have about seven to nine seconds to catch an interviewer's eye. So keep it simple, specific, and no paragraphs!"