Ah, your resumé: You made it in your Business class like, three years ago and now you're trying to score a real-life job with something that probably has "lawnmowing" on it as a skill.
(Psssst... if you wanna skip this whole post and see what a killer resume looks like, click right here
Sound familiar? Using the same tired, old resumé again and again is a common mistake in the job hunt, and it's one that could seriously cost you. Because really, while you might be super amazing at mowing a lawn, that's only going to help you if you're looking for a job in landscaping.
Here are a few quick ways to spruce up your resumé so it's officially ready for your next round of applications. By making yourself stand out, you get a better chance at making it to an interview.
Step One: Pick a Target
Even if all the jobs for which you're applying are in the same industry, you should be tailoring your resumé to each specific position. Hiring managers can smell a generic resumé from a mile away, and it's a major turn-off. Therefore, you should be constantly tweaking your resumé based on your target by highlighting the most relevant experience for your dream position.
If you want a job as a volunteer coordinator, for instance, you could highlight areas of your past experience within the realm of organization and volunteerism to prove you have what it takes.
Step Two: Get Rid of the Fluff
Look: Hiring managers don't care about your interests or if you were really great at stapling at your last job. They want results, so get rid of the fluffy stuff and put in quantified results to show that you're effective at what you do.
Instead of "Implemented new work order system," go for "Implemented workflow system which reduced order time by 30 percent.
Numbers are your friend. Use them and you have concrete examples of why you rock.
Step Three: Think of the Summary as a Highlight Reel
First of all, it's time to get rid of the objective statement. Everyone is looking for a job; you don't need to start your resumé by reminding the hiring manager that you're unemployed.
Instead, replace the objective with a quick summary. Consider it your highlight reel: Add a few bullet points that are interesting and attention-grabbing to get yourself to the top of the pile.
Your summary should be three to five bullet points of what makes you a killer find for hiring managers. Try stuff like:
A professional with three years experience in the industry.
Creative and motivated.
A history of proven leadership skills as part of an effective management team.
Use words that get people excited. Instead of "Past duties," prove that you went beyond just duties and use words like "leadership," "creativity," "teamwork," and "innovation." Remember, the summary is part of your personal brand: What do you want hiring managers to remember about you?
Step Four: Ask for Advice
Chances are that you already know someone in your dream industry, whether it's a friend of your parents, your Uncle Frank, or your best friend's mom. Work your connections and ask for a mini-mentoring session. Hand over your resumé and let someone who knows the business offer their honest opinion. You'll probably be surprised at what stands out to someone who already works in the industry.
Don't know anyone who can give you advice? Reach out on online forums or through LinkedIn connections to find someone who can look over your resumé and help you better tailor it to your must-have job.
Step Five: Go Beyond the Resumé
Sure, traditional resumés are the gold standard for job applications, but it doesn't have to be the only way you strut your stuff. By offering supporting information, you increase your chances of getting noticed.
Grab a free blog and post an online portfolio of your work. Make sure that your social networking profiles are squeaky clean. Include a clickable link to some of your work in your cover letter. Whatever you do, make sure it supports your resumé and gives the hiring manager a few options for getting to know you.
Interview, here you come!
By Jae — Dorito Connoisseur
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