For everyone sending out their resume, or for those creating a masterpiece of a resume in preparation to send – please read this! I have some great advice to offer, because I’m under the assumption that most of you are doing it backwards.
In order to have a great product, one must do their research. I’m 100% positive that you had to do research in school to make a project or give a presentation. The same applies when one creates their resume. I recently read a blog that says it best, http://imgur.com/gallery/Q89Wo ;“Everybody does this backwards and it just doesn’t work well. If you create a product without understanding what your customers want first then, unless you’re just lucky you’re not going to create a great product. The same applies with your resume.”
What do you want to do? The first thing is knowing what position you’re seeking. Have some sort of direction and go after it. It’s not a great idea to be all over the board and just apply to anything and everything.
Job descriptions. Once you have nailed down the job you’re after, visit the job boards and search through your desired job title and take note of the keywords used in the job descriptions. These will be the keywords you will want to use in your resume, don’t worry, it’s ok to copy them. In the aforementioned blog http://imgur.com/gallery/Q89Wo they talk about a key analyzer site, which is free of charge; you can copy and paste the job descriptions and it will make a report of the most commonly used words. This can be very helpful in identifying which words to use.
Why are keywords so important? The keywords will set you apart from the rest. Most companies use an ATS (applicant tracking system) which will screen resumes for the keywords. If your resume doesn’t contain said keywords – you will be rejected. So, without hitting on the keywords, even if you are highly qualified, there’s a high probability you’re being screened out of potential positons before a human eye ever scans your resume.
Ready to write? It’s time to write your resume, or you can use a professional resume writer to prepare your document. You need to select a template- I always recommend something clean and professional. Next, figure out your format. Reverse chronological (lists all education and work experience, beginning with most recent and then moves backwards from that point); Functional (skills based, showcases what you have done and where you did it); or Hybrid (combination of the two other types). Once you have created your resume, you should have someone else look it over for errors.
You should now be ready to post your resume! Remember, a resume alone will not land you that dream job- do some networking! Many jobs are already filled before they are ever posted. It’s great to be proactive and ahead of the competition! With proper networking and a solid resume, you’re chances of success are dramatically improved.