March 14, 2013
With so many people competing for the same jobs these days, you need to make sure your résumé is working for you, not against you. Here are 7 tips to help you power up your résumé and increase your odds of landing that next great job. 1. Proofread your résumé carefully for accuracy and professionalism. A single spelling or typographical error on your cover letter or résumé tells the prospective employer that you are not reliable. A friend of mine wanted to hire a detail-oriented person to work in his optics lab. He posted the job listing on several sites. One of the applicants had all the right qualifications and specifically mentioned that she pays careful attention to detail. When he tried to call her to invite her in for an interview, he was unable to get through. She had listed an incorrect phone number on her résumé.2. Create multiple versions. Tailor your résumé to fit specific job qualifications. Identify how your current skills and talents apply directly to the responsibilities of each job you are applying for.3. Avoid clichés or over-generalizations.Outline measurable results that you have achieved in previous jobs. For example, you can write, “Increased customer retention through my solid customer relations skills,” rather than, “I’m a people person.”4. Make sure your résumé is brief and easy to read.Limit your résumé length to no more than two pages and and highlight your skills by putting keywords in bold. Create a bulleted list titled Summary of Qualifications and center it directly below your name, address and phone number at the top of the first page. For example:Summary of Qualifications
5. Put your résumé to work for you.Create a targeted list of companies for which you’d like to work and share your list with friends, colleagues and family members. Ask people you trust to let you know if they have a contact at any of those companies.6. Learn how to use social networking sites.Many human resource professionals are searching sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for prospective employees. Be sure to post a professional profile with no embarrassing photos or information. Check it frequently to manage content and keep it up to date. Post your résumé on as many online job boards as possible, specifically those that focus on jobs in your targeted region. For example, MilwaukeeJobs.com is a popular job posting site in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.7. Actively network. Don’t sit around waiting for the phone to ring. Get out there and network like crazy at industry specific events, professional associations, community organizations and job fairs. Join or create a mastermind group with other job-seeking professionals where you can brainstorm ideas and garner support. Job searches can get discouraging but it is important to stay upbeat. Avoid singing the blues to everyone about your need for a job. Instead, demonstrate enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Also, be willing to help others with their job searches. An positive, outgoing personality is likely to open more doors for you.