Posts Tagged ‘write a resume’
Are you sending out dozens of resumes each week but getting no response? Do you feel discouraged by a tough job market and your competition?
In your efforts to get noticed, you should keep one thing in mind: Put yourself in the hiring manager’s place. Ask yourself, “What would the employer think of my resume in the initial few seconds she takes to read it?” Even if you’re exactly right for the job, you may never be asked to interview unless you make the proper first impression with a well-written resume and cover letter. Use these tips to guide you:
- Manage the content and format effectively. The content and format of your resume are very important. A resume that employs a tiny font and has too much information will be quickly passed over by a hiring manager in favor of a clean, easy-to-read, well-spaced document. Use bullet points and even-spaced margins. Don’t make the mistake of including every single thing you did at a previous job. Instead, list key accomplishments and major, progressive responsibilities that highlight your skills. You can then expand on your previous responsibilities in a cover letter and during the first interview.
- Make the content of your resume reflect transferable skills related to the position for which you’re applying. Hiring managers often glance at a resume looking for key phrases and buzz words that they want in their ideal next employee. Take the time to tailor your resume specifically to a job description. Including key phrases from the description may get you past the employers’ web-based application filter as well as generate enough interest for a first interview.
- Keep your resume free of spelling and grammatical errors. You want to convey that you are professional and detail-oriented, can write well, and take your work seriously. One glance at a resume with spelling and grammatical errors might cause an employer to think you are sloppy, make mistakes, and are wasting his or her time. Take the time to proofread your resume. (Don’t depend on the computer spell checker) Then have someone you trust review it for you.
- Your cover letter should always express your interest in the specific job. Does the position give you an opportunity to expand your skill set? Is the company dynamic and progressive? Clearly convey your strong interest in the company and position, and then explain why you’re the ideal candidate. This shows you have done your homework on the company and truly want to work there.
Putting the employer first by having a tailored cover letter and well-written resume will ensure you have submitted the best possible representation of yourself, bringing you a step closer to getting that interview and job offer.
When applying for a specific position, it’s essential that you include keywords on your resume:
- Keywords that reflect your field of expertise
- Keywords that were used in the job posting, as many companies use software to evaluate how well a person’s skills match with those listed in the job posting
Companies are receiving thousands of resumes each day, so yours needs to stand out among all the others. Here’s how:
- Be a match. If you are interested in applying for a specific position, be sure to research the company and thoroughly go over the job description and position requirements. If they list specific requirements and you have experience that fits what they are looking for, highlight this information clearly on your resume so the reader can quickly see that you “match” the position. Use caution that you aren’t repeating the exact phrasing from the advertisement—use the keywords that will identify you as a match. Also, don’t rule yourself out even if you feel you’re not a close match. Send the resume and let the employer decide.
- Be concise. In addition to your duties with current and past employers, it is important to include contributions and achievements, as well as your educational background—but don’t overdo it. A resume is basically an advertisement, and your goal is to create enough interest that the organization will want to learn more about you by telephone or in a face-to-face interview. When a resume contains too many heavy details, you run the risk of overloading the reader, which can result in him or her missing important accomplishments you have achieved during your career. A prospective employer isn’t going to take the time to read a resume that is too lengthy.
- Be active and persistent. Finally, if you have been part of a reduction in workforce, be assured that you will eventually successfully land a job. Treat your job search like you treated your full-time job—dedicate your time to it every day. Many times when someone is no longer working, they feel lost and unsure, but the key to triumphing over this situation is to commit to beginning the search process and moving forward from there. Get out there and make things happen!
Hiring managers routinely receive hundreds, perhaps thousands, of responses from applicants for any given job. To avoid having your resume sink into this sea of paper, it’s imperative to stand out from the crowd and make a good first impression. A compelling cover letter that meets five essential requirements will convince a hiring manager to read an applicant’s resume.
Rule #1: Create appealing appearance
The resume and cover letter must be aesthetically pleasing and consistent in appearance. This includes using the same heading and fonts for each.
Rule #2: Target your audience
Always use the hiring manager’s name in the salutation. If the contact’s name isn’t provided in the job posting, a bit of Internet research or a well-structured phone call can produce results.
Rule #3: Produce a strong opening
A dynamic opening paragraph is essential to capture and retain a hiring manager’s interest. Pared down to essentials for a quick and effective read, it should reference the position you are seeking and include a brief statement as to why you believe you are qualified to fill the job.
Rule #4: Showcase accomplishments
Include a bulleted area to emphasize accomplishments pertinent to the targeted job.
Rule #5: Close with a proactive statement
Always initiate further action at the end of a cover letter. A proactive closing indicates that you will call within a few days to see if a time might be scheduled to meet. Then, be sure to follow through on the action you include in your letter.