Are you sending out dozens of resumes each week, but getting no response? Do you feel discouraged about a tough job market and your competition?
In your efforts to get noticed, you should keep one thing in mind: Put yourself in the hiring manager’s place. Ask yourself, “What would the employer think of my resume in the initial few seconds she takes to read it?” Even if you’re exactly right for the job, you may never be asked to interview unless you make the proper first impression with a well-written resume and cover letter.
Resume Appearance Matters
The content and format of your resume are very important. A resume that employs a tiny font and has too much information will be quickly passed over by a hiring manager in favor of a clean, easy to read, well-spaced document. Use bullet points and even-spaced margins. Don’t make the mistake of including every single thing you did at a previous job. Instead, list key accomplishments and major, progressive responsibilities that highlight your skills. You can then expand on your previous responsibilities in a cover letter and during the first interview.
Does the content of your resume reflect transferable skills related to the position for which you’re applying? Hiring managers often glance at a resume looking for key phrases and buzz words that they want in their ideal next employee. Take the time to tailor your resume specifically to a job description. These key phrases may get you past the employers’ Web-based application filter as well as generate enough interest for a first interview.
Is Your Document Error Free?
A basic, yet overlooked, detail is keeping your resume free of spelling and grammatical errors. You want to convey that you are professional, detail-oriented, can write well, and take your work seriously. One glance at a resume with spelling and grammatical errors might cause an employer to think: “sloppy, makes mistakes, and is wasting my time.” Take the time to proofread your resume. Then, have someone you trust review it for you.
Is Your Cover Letter Dynamic and Focused?
Your cover letter should always express your interest in the specific job. Does it give you an opportunity to expand your skill set? Is the company dynamic and progressive? Clearly convey your strong interest in the company and position, and then explain why you’re the ideal candidate. This shows you have done your homework on the company and truly want to work there.
Putting the employer first by having a tailored cover letter and well-written resume will ensure you have sent out the best possible representation of yourself. It will also bring you a step closer to getting that interview and job offer.