The job search is a frustrating and sometimes agonizing process, even more so in times of economic decline. That is why it is so crucially important for a job seeker to know what will give them the best chance of success. Each month I will present some quick tips on how to make yourself stand out in the crowd.
Create a solid resume.
This may seem obvious, but I see many job seekers each week that come in looking for work empty-handed, and have only a basic job history on an application to stand on. I often tell potential candidates that a good resume is the best weapon in your job search arsenal. I can easily say that 80-95% of the jobs I recruit for on a weekly basis require a resume for consideration. A resume doesn’t need to be complex to be effective. Even a basic job history including employers, job titles, and dates employment is certainly better than nothing.
On the flip side, a complex resume does not necessarily yield success either. If a resume is overly wordy and goes onto multiple pages with minute details in each job it can actually be a turn-off to a potential employer. Many recruiters and HR professionals review dozens if not hundreds of resumes a week. Their time is valuable, and you want to make the best impression possible, even if it’s on paper.
I will usually encourage candidates and applicants to try their best to limit their resume to a single page if at all possible. Ideally a potential employer should be able to quickly know who you are and what you are all about at a glance. If you feel that more explanation is warranted it may be best to create two resumes, a short resume and a long resume.
The short resume should entice potential employers and make them want to know more. Only go into detail on the most recent or most relevant job or jobs, and include the rest of your work history in a separate section titled “Other Employment” with employers, job titles, and dates. If they take the bait, offer to provide the long resume with complete details.
Lastly, you want to present a positive, up-beat image of yourself. The job search can be demeaning and repeated rejection can wear down a person’s self-esteem, but you can’t let that shine through. Remember, you are a salesperson, and the product you are pitching is yourself. Everyone provides “responsibilities” in a resume, but too few people list “accomplishments” which can be even more valuable.
Did your performance and efforts lead to higher profits with your last employer? List the dollar amount. Did your hard work lead to an increase in responsibility or a higher position? Identify when the transition happened and why it happened. Convince your new potential employer why they simply can’t live without you, and that you are the person for the job.
Good luck, and happy job hunting!Photo Source