The economy is in bad shape, and so many people are out of work. Companies are being conservative in the number of positions they are filling, which means there are more job seekers than job positions. People still need to work to be able to support their families, so it’s important to be proactive in the preparation of your resume to give you the best chance at landing that evasive interview!
I have heard from lots of friends who are out of work, that they need help learning how to make a great resume. It’s not too hard if you use resume templates, but the key is to personalize it and make it your own. You want to stand out from the crowd. Below I have listed a few tips that I share with close friends, I thought some of you might benefit from them as well.
- Start with a good cover letter. It’s not necessarily a bad idea to use a template, or form letters, but you want to make sure you personalize it to each position you are sending it to. Mention the company name, the position, and why you think you are the ideal candidate for the job.
- Make sure your contact information is at the top of the page. It should be correct (no typos!) with address, phone number (that you answer), and email address (that you check).
- Be sure to include applicable certifications and skills in a bullet format near the top of the page. It draws attention to key words, if they use an automated search, the key words will leave a hit, and HR personnel who may not be knowledgeable about what a certification is, they are just looking to see if it’s there or not. They may only spend 10-30 seconds glancing at the first page of a resume looking for this, so make it stand out and easy to read!
- Know your objective. Tell them what type of job you are looking for, and what skills and experience you have that qualifies you for the position.
- Education: Make sure you list all of the education you have received
- Job History: Make sure you include what is relevant to your position. If you are 50 years old, applying to an accounting position, they don’t care that you worked a Joe Smith’s Warehouse as a sales clerk when you were 15. They want to see your accounting history. Focus on what relates to your position, include key words, highlights and awards received.
- Match key words from job posting to your experience, and make sure it’s easily located. Make sure the information you include is relevant to the position.
- Leave white space. You don’t need a page full of information. The resume is for keywords and getting your foot in the door. The interview is where you go into detail and discuss at length your history. Include enough to land the interview, but not too much that they resume reader gets bored or overwhelmed with information.
- 1-2 pages. One page is best, but for technical positions or positions with a lot of certifications and job requirements, often a second page is necessary. Avoid using a third page. Edit where you can to keep it at 2 pages.
- Proof read several times and get a second opinion from a friend or family member to make sure there are no errors!