The job hunt is on, and in order to get to the interview process, you need a resume that will attract your future employer in the midst of all the other stacks he will receive. A reader wrote in asking if she should send a colorful resume on pink or blue paper so that it would stand out in the pile of white, and our answer was no. It is not professional; although you don’t want your resume sounding like a boring list of things that you do, we do want you to present it in a businesslike manner. Use these steps to a better resume and get your foot in the door towards that coveted interview.
- Get a Professional to do it
Sometimes we just do not know how to put into words what our worth is. Suppose you can afford to invest in your future. This is the best way to go. A professional is going to work hard to make sure that everything that you have listed on your profile sheet is enunciated in the way that makes a potential employer take notice. They will also provide cover letters to make your resume even more professional looking.
- Speak to the Employer
As soon as the reader of your resume picks it up they are looking for the human being behind the words. Passivity will get your resume thrown in the trash pile. You could bore them with this example:
Responsibilities: Carried out duties in the mailroom; edited copy; made sure schedules were clocked in.
However, you could write replace passive verbs with adverbs and wow them like this:
I was in charge of making sure mailroom duties were carried out in a timely manner while editing copy for the senior editor. At the appropriate times, I detailed the entry time of employee schedules and reported the documentation to the appropriate supervisor.
Wow what a difference, right? We’re not saying to overthink what you have done, but give it some pizazz.
- Show that you were active
The wording you use will make a difference in what you were doing. Use “in charge of”, “responsible for”, “coordinate”, “collaborate”, etc. re-read it out loud how does it sound to you? If there are spaces that seem unclear, then it will seem unclear to your prospective employer. Make the words live.
You have an average of 6-10 seconds to make a manager want to interview you, and if your CV is full of grammar mistakes, that is a clear sign that you are not detailed oriented. You didn’t even take the time to read through your resume to give a good first impression. They read these resumes at top speed, and you have to have all of your statements lined up to grab their attention. MS Word is not enough; it may let words slide through just because they are spelled correctly. Read through your resume, and look for things such as comma splices. You can hate them all you want, but they pop up within your writing, and you don’t even know they are there with corrective software.
- Why should they hire you?
Do your homework before you begin the process of telling your story on your resume. You may have a beautiful in-depth story of your life, but the manager is not looking for that story. He or she is looking for what it is about you that makes you worth hiring. Find out what the company needs and sell from your perspective on what you can provide. How are you going to go to a company that needs a writer that has experience using a particular software such as excel, and you have never used excel?
- Putting your value on a pedestal
After you find out where their sore spot is, begin to market what you will bring to the table to fix their needs. Is it team building? Unfinished projects? A tarnished brand? Declining sales? How you will solve their problems is what you will fill your resume with, and that will make you valuable to them.
- Map your life first
Before you write a single line of your resume, if you have decided to do it yourself, map out the information with a mapping program or on paper. The link here leads to a good one to use. You can get the free version or one that is for pro-use. Mind mapping comes in handy for more than just resumes, it is good for essay writing and collaborating on projects.
- Let the Job Post Be Your Guide
Make your resume sound like the language that delivered the job post. It was possibly made with a computer program. Use similar font and style to submit your paperwork, and use the same keywords that were used to call for submissions. Do this for each job posting. Personalize each one for each company.
- Being Professional Online and with Your e-mail
Today it is a good idea to submit your blog along with your resume. Businesses have even asked for your Facebook page information. Before you decide to start sending out your resumes, if your online presence is wild and crazy, clean it up.
Your hiring managers will look; they are first and foremost concerned with how their company looks in the eyes of the world. If you are going to represent them, a site with you looking out into the world holding up your middle finger just won’t do. Also, get a business sounding e-mail address. Many companies will have business cards made up for their employees, and you do not want an email like @boombimbetty on your card, and neither do they.
- Proofread, Copy, File, Submit
After you have proofread your resume and made sure all the relevant information is included, copy it and keep it in a safe place. This will be changed over time, and you do not want to have to start over. Remember, every time that you submit your resume to change the date to reflect the day you are submitting. Managers have reported that they receive resumes with dates going back a full year, and they have thrown them out.
Job-hunting can be a daunting experience; it does not have to be a dead-end experience with the right resume. Good Luck in your search!