The U.S. Department of Labor reported in April 2011 that 13.5 million people were unemployed, 8.8% of the population. If you fall into this group, you know the job market is not an easy one and isn’t getting any easier. The Department of Labor also reported there are 4 to 5 people ready to fill every job that comes available. Not that you needed any more competition…
If you are in the job market and looking for an edge, your first impression has to stand out. You need a professional and attractive resume. Follow these tips to get more than just your foot in the door.
- PROOFREAD. Proofread. No, it’s not a typo that you read that twice. You should proofread your resume, at least twice. And then have someone else proofread it for you as well. Typos, errors and obvious mistakes will land your resume in the trash bin faster than you can stick a stamp on an envelope to mail the next one.
- Look at other resume samples to get a feel for what you should be doing. Look for resume samples specific to your career type or experience.
- Be honest about job history, qualifications and work experience. Potential employers do check references, ‘Google’ candidates and follow-up on information provided in resumes. Don’t include anything that might cause you to stumble in an interview when asked to elaborate, provide an example from or even give an on-the-spot reference.
- Be cautious of your ‘social’ life. Employers have record numbers of applicants for every job and sometimes use every detail on a candidate to make a final decision on hiring. That could include a peak into your social life — your social media life. Before you post the details of your Friday night on-line in a tweet or comment, or are tagged in your friend’s photo gallery, consider if your potential new boss would want to see or know that about you.
- Write your resume for the job you want. Use action words and strengthen your qualities and past responsibilities. Did you manage accounts? How many accounts or people? Quantify and list numbers on your resume. Take credit for the tasks you know how to handle, especially as they apply for the new position you want.
- Keep it clean and professional. Use crisp, white or ivory paper. Use standard fonts and size 11 or 12 point type. Unless you are a graphic or web designer, your resume should speak for itself in the writing, not in frilly fonts and flowers in the margins. Also, make sure your personal e-mail address is up to par for business communications. Maybe it’s time to rethink [email protected] for your resume point of contact.