When you're job seeking in a time of economic downturn, you know you have to do everything possible to make yourself attractive to a prospective employer, including submitting a resume that really sizzles. How do you do that? Here are five ways:
The average employer takes only a minute to screen a resume, so it's in your best interest to make yours stands out. Both content and format resonate with the reader, so be sure to:
You wouldn't wear the same outfit to every kind of interview, so why would you submit the same resume for every position? It's important to tweak the cover letter and objective on your resume to match the position you're applying for. It's just as crucial to tailor the content. If you're applying for a sales position, highlight the sales-related skills you have. If, on the other hand, you're going for a management job, you'll want to demonstrate that you have leadership experience.
By making your resume fit the position, you will make it easier for an employer to see you as part of the company.
Employers differ on exactly how long a resume should be, but a rule of thumb is to keep it to a single page, with a maximum of two pages if you absolutely need that much space. Remember that you don't have to list every job you've ever held. By the time you're 30 and applying for a mid- or upper-management position, no one will care that you once worked at a fast food restaurant in high school. However, if you are applying for a position that requires highly technical skills, you should list everything that is relevant to the job.
Whatever the length of your resume, it is vital that you use correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation. If the way you speak tells others a lot about you, the way you write does so even more. If you are uncertain about your English usage skills, make good use of this site, GrammarBook.com with its free rules, examples, and quizzes. You may also wish to purchase the excellent reference book that goes with this site, The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation. And don’t forget to use your computer program’s spell-check software. In addition, you should always have another person look over your resume before you submit it. Finally, before you hit “Send,” read it aloud once more to make sure it flows. This will help you spot any mismatched verb tenses or odd phrasing.
It may be a very wise investment of your resources to consult a professional resume writer to help you if your skills just aren't up for selling yourself with sizzle. You should seek professional help if you are changing job markets or re-entering the workforce, especially, because such consultants will help you find the best way to present yourself. When searching for a resume writing or editing service, pick one that is familiar with your field and ask to see before-and-after samples.
Even incredibly experienced interviewers still get nervous when submitting resumes, so don't worry if you, too, are a bit unsure. If you have the skills for the job and you follow our tips to make your resume really stand out, you should have no problem moving on to the next step: the interview.