Today's job market is competitive. Many companies receive hundreds of resumes a year, making it difficult for yours to stand out from the crowd. However, that should not keep you from getting interviews. The following 10 tips will help you learn how to get employers to read your resume and get your phone ringing.
1. Include a profile
Begin your resume with a profile, which contains a synopsis of your varied skills and educational qualifications. This profile should match the particular job you want to apply for. State your career objective clearly so that the reader gets an overall idea of your background and areas of expertise. Write this section in such a manner that it immediately catches the attention of a hiring manager, and he calls you instead of someone else.
2. Keep the resume short
No one has the time to go through elaborate detailing about your past jobs and experiences. Therefore, keep the resume short (don't make it 7-8 pages long). Make a list of the most important jobs you have held and give a brief of your previous job-oriented experiences. However, in the case of technical people or senior executives with many years of experience, resumes can extend to three to five pages in order to include relevant technical information.
3. Give more importance on content than on looks
One of the major mistakes people make while creating resumes is in the use of fancy fonts. Avoid using fancy fonts and do not change font regularly throughout the resume. Changing fonts regularly will distract and confuse a hiring manager. Do not use underlining or italics to add emphasis. Make your document eye appealing so that your reader can review it with ease. Use white paper and make the thoughts flow smoothly.
4. Clearly identify your skills
Do not be modest in mentioning your skills. Clearly identifying your skills will distinguish you from the other job seekers and eventually help your potential employers to select you from the rest. Remember, all you have to do is to stand out from the crowd.
5. List your educational and professional qualifications
Include any relevant education or training that might relate. Provide details of only those qualifications that match your current job search. This will help you to get short-listed more easily.
6. Focus on your job responsibilities
Starting with your present position or most recent job, mention the title of every job you have held, along with the name of the company, the city and state, and the years you have worked there. Under each position, make a list of your job responsibilities. Use descriptive verbs, such as created, increased, performed, initiated, developed, led, improved or reduced to begin each statement of your duties and accomplishments. Producing a document that is well presented, detailed and targeted will attract the attention of your hiring manager.
7. Add related qualifications and interests
Think about anything else that might qualify you for your job objective and place it at the bottom of your resume. It may include licenses, certifications, awards and achievements, and sometimes even your hobbies and interests if they truly relate. If you seek a job in a music company, for example, stating on your resume that you are a pianist will increase your chance to get that interview call.
8. Be honest with your resume
If you did not actually do what you said you did, it would be called a lie. Numerous surveys show that job applicants lie most frequently about education and employment, particularly about job responsibilities and dates of employment. Hiding gaps in employment and jobs where they were forced to leave by the respective employers is also common. There are many risks involved in lying, but many job applicants do not seem to get the message about the risks of lying. Once you are caught with a lie, you will be fired then and there. So, DON'T lie - be honest with your resume.
9. Always attach a covering letter
A cover letter is a letter of introduction that highlights your key achievements and skills and entitles you for a job opening. It reflects your communication skills and your personality. The main purpose of this document is to introduce yourself in such an interesting manner that the reader will not only continue reading your resume but also be willing to call you for an interview.
10. Proofread your resume
After you have finalized your employment documents, check them repeatedly for errors in spelling, grammar, or punctuation. Spelling and grammatical errors can automatically disqualify a resume from consideration. If you make mistakes on your employment documents, hiring managers might presume you will be equally careless on the job - no matter how important your qualifications and experiences are. Proofread your resume and cover letter carefully.
Make your resume positive and completely error-free. If you are seeking two or three different positions, prepare two or three separate resumes, each tailored to the job you are targeting. Make your resume exclusive and unique so that it stands out from the crowd. Good luck for your career!
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