Looking for a new job now that a new year is here? Not sure how to create a fabulous resume or revise your old one? The following information, if used well, can help you land interviews you really want. Remember that people who read resumes are generally time crunched, perhaps spending seconds on each document. In addition, they are often underwhelmed by the quality of what they see. Take a look at the tips below and learn ways to make YOUR resume stand out from the pile.
Understand that a resume is a sales/marketing tool.
Your resume gives the reader a first impression of YOU. In short, it’s a form of ad copy. Either the reader is inspired to meet you and learn more-or not. It’s basically cut and dried. A resume is a document that has the power to schedule interviews for you, but it won’t actually get you a job. A resume can get your foot in the door of an organization you think you want to work for. Determine content for this tool by figuring out what the reader absolutely must know about you and how you can meet their needs.
Quantify your contributions to previous employers. And HOW you got those results!
As you describe your value to previous and current employers in the work history or work experience section, be certain to include metrics. Write bullets such as: “Increased company sales by 75% over a twelve month period” or “Raised $100,000 for Organization X over three years.” The point is to paint a picture of your worth by using various types of numbers. Metrics give the reader very specific information about your productivity and skill set. Don’t be shy here. Toot your horn in accurate, truthful ways. Holding back can hurt you.
Describe how you use(d) your skills to make positive and significant contributions to your employers. Perhaps you created a strategic alliance to start a new community program. Maybe you took a college course to increase a particular skill and expand your knowledge in a targeted area. Maybe you got certified to do something specific. Mention these sorts of things boldly. But always make them relevant to the job you are seeking.
Send a cover letter.
Don’t forget to do this. Today many people think a cover letter is not necessary. A cover letter provides the reader with a succinct, soft overview and introduction of YOU. It has the ability to spark interest and set the tone for what can follow: your resume and an interview. Regard the cover letter as yet another tool that can serve you. It’s a form of advertising, just like the resume. It’s a communiqué that, when done effectively, can accentuate your uniqueness. A poorly written cover letter shoots you in the foot. The reader isn’t going to bother with your resume.
Focus on the employer’s interests and needs. Explain why YOU are the best candidate for the job. Make assertions about your abilities, qualities, and accomplishments, then provide evidence that corresponds with each of them. Begin bulleted items with strong action verbs. Last but not least, be honest. An embellished resume laden with lies or exaggerations could land you an interview, but it most likely won’t get you the job. Even if it does, you can’t keep it.