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How To Make A ‘Good’ Resume A ‘Great’ Resume

A great resume is the difference between getting lost in the shuffle or getting called back for an interview. An effective resume should not just be a summary of job descriptions. Instead, a summary of accomplishments and the quantification of your contributions is much more effective at attracting the attention of the hiring manager. Follow these tips for creating a strong resume.

Format

One of the first aspects of your resume that gets noticed by employers is the specific format the resume is written in. Several types of resumes are used and each type is effective for a specific type of job. Personal circumstances may dictate the need for a functional, targeted, chronological, or combination resume. The font you choose is also important. Simpler fonts are less strenuous on the eye and employers would much rather scan through a resume with simple lettering as opposed to elegant, over-the-top font.

Personalise

Most job seekers apply to more than one position at a time. In fact, job searching is essentially a numbers game similar to the national lottery. You are competing with hundreds of candidates, so it is important to make sure you invest enough time in your resume. Template resumes are efficient and save a significant amount of time. However, submitting the exact same resume to each employer is counterintuitive. Each job has a specific set of skills that make the ideal candidate. For example, some of the skills needed to secure a writing job will not exactly match up to the skills of a sales or marketing position. Because of this, it is important to personalise the resume for the specific job being applied for. Each career summary or objective should be different for each job. In addition to this, it is important to include a cover letter proving your worth to a potential employer. Many job seekers overlook and ignore this step on how to get a job and waste valuable time applying for jobs that never receive further consideration from employers.

Keywords

Employers these days electronically screen for specific keywords in order to eliminate and disqualify certain candidates. For example, a job may require a bachelor’s degree of specific skills in order to be considered for the position. Research industry keywords like “search engine optimisation” and “interpersonal skills” in order to bypass the initial screening process.

Prioritise

Include the previous ten years of your career. Most employers and hiring managers scan through resumes, so the first 30 seconds is the most critical as most employers will make a subconscious decision after seeing your resume for the first time. Because of this, the first few inches of the first page is the most important part of your resume. You should capture your employers interest by listing your most relevant and outstanding accomplishments first. Senior level executives may list their most recent contributions to their industry while recent college graduates list their educational background as well as their volunteer experience.

It is absolutely paramount that you include you most relevant and important accomplishments and cater your resume for the specific job being applied for. After effective networking, an exceptional resume is your next step towards your dream job.

April 21, 2014

6 Resume Writing Tips That Will Give You An Edge

Everyone knows that as job markets are growing more competitive these days, it’s getting harder to get your foot in the door – even for an interview. Instead of getting frustrated, it’s important not to give up, but to use this difficulty as a chance to improve and challenge yourself! How to find a job? And furthermore, how to get that job? Create a killer resume. Interviewers and HR managers are getting wise to the fact that interviews just don’t give a good enough portrait of a potential hire. You will be fact checked, so no lying! Here are 6 tips that just might give you a chance to interview for that dream job:

The basics

  • Keep your name and contact info (phone number, email address, street address) at the top of your resume
  • Keep your resume simple, clear and concise. Limit yourself to 2-3 pages
  • For references, either give 2-3 names and their contact info, or type in “References to be provided upon request”
  • Don’t give your date of birth (unless it’s an advantage for you to keep it on)

Include facts and figures

You can’t “fluff” up your resume with descriptions of what your job responsibilities were in your previous job. The writing is uninspiring, and there isn’t any guarantee that you did any of it well. The answer? Fill your resume with measurable results – percentages, numbers of people, feedback that you received, and so on. The more specific you can be, the better it looks to a good recruiter or interviewer.

Show something unique about yourself

Even if you do fill your resume with applicable skills and a solid performance record, that will only put you at an even level with the other qualified applicants hoping for this job. What you need to do is show something unique or unusual about yourself. What separates you from the rest of the people applying for the position? Maybe you’ve been keeping a blog and have a regular following? That shows energy, dedication, and hopefully good writing. If you need a boost in your resume, start with your current job; ask your supervisor for more responsibilities and then put them on your resume.

Do your research

Make sure you know what you are applying for. You must customise your resume for the job that you are applying to. It is imperative that you do not send out a “standard” resume that just showcase your skills and experience. All modern resumes have to be tailored to the job and company that you are applying to. Additionally there out to be an objective or purpose statement that shows why you want to work at that company, and what you hope to accomplish there.

Include key words (Resume SEO)

For very popular jobs and larger companies, there isn’t even a guarantee that your resume will be seen by a real person anymore. A lot of companies use computer programs that will automatically scan your resume for key words (don’t worry about density, mentioning something once will get you tagged), and will pass your resume along to a live person if your resume has certain key words. If you are wondering what key words to use, just look at the job description and make sure those are the words that are in your resume.

Spell check

This hasn’t changed. You still need to spell check, and you shouldn’t trust your computer to do it for you. Best advice would be to print it out and look it over on paper.

April 12, 2014

How to Stand Out When Applying for a Job

Thanks to an unstable job market, for every job out there, you’ll be in a race against dozens of others competing for the same job. These days it’s not enough just to send over your resume, consider these tips to help you stand out from the rest.

Tailor the resume to the job

When applying for a job, be sure to tailor the resume to the job description. It’s worth spending time analysing each job description and personalising your experience to what they’re looking for. A few small tweaks to the resume with every new application will help the resume to match the application. Without this editing, the resume will look like an afterthought.

Send a cover letter

Most job ads still require a cover letter, and even if they don’t, it’s always a good idea to include one in your application. It shows you’ve tailored the application to this job, and offers an insight into who you are as a person. This is your chance to rise above the facts and figures of your resume.

Interview as if you’re at lunch

Going to an interview completely stiff is not the way to get a job. Anyone who knows how to get a job knows that managers want to talk to real people in an interview. Giving robotic answers and trying to say only what the manager wants to hear does not make the applicant look like a quality candidate. Be smart. Be open. Be funny. Be yourself in an interview. When the manager feels like they are talking to someone they could work with, the tide will turn in your favour.

Have references ready

Ah, “references available on request.” Make sure you have references ready if the HR manager asks for them. Send a polite email to your previous employers mentioning that you are applying for work and could you use them as a reference. This will save you time and push you to the front of the shortlist.

April 10, 2014