Make the Cut: Keep Your Resume Off the “Needs Further Review” or “No” Pile
Graduation time is near and focus is now on starting your career. What can you do to make sure prospective employers are intrigued by your resume and want to meet you for an interview? The following tips may help.
1) Be concise, structured and specific.
Each resume you send should be customized to the specific position you want to attain. Before you start writing your resume, research the position and company so you have a better understanding of the company’s goals and needs. Then, modify your resume to reflect the priorities emphasized by the company for the position. Use language similar to theirs. Look at your resume from the employer’s perspective. Identify skills, qualities, accomplishments and experiences that speak directly to their stated needs.
2) Make sure you have no typos, misspellings or grammatical errors.
Accuracy and attention to detail are important in almost all jobs. If your resume contains typos, misspellings or grammatical errors you are sending the message that you don’t pay attention to details. The time you spend proofreading your resume to correct problems is well worthwhile.
3) Explain gaps between jobs.
Hiring executives understand that there are times people will have gaps. For example, businesses occasionally need to lay off employees due to budget constraints. Or, some employees start a job but have legitimate business or personal reasons for leaving it. Don’t leave those work experiences off your resume. Do your best to convey reasons for any gaps you may have between jobs.
4) Do not use overly ambiguous phrases.
Use action oriented verbs (e.g. analyzed, developed, proposed, achieved, facilitated, arranged) to describe work experiences on your resume. Avoid using phrases like “familiar with” and “involved in” which give hiring managers the impression that your experience is very limited.
5) Note special skills you possess.
Describe your computer skills and office equipment experience. Be as specific as possible (e.g. Adept at using Microsoft Word).
6) Avoid excessive job hopping.
Carefully consider job opportunities before accepting a position. If you do find out after accepting a job that it was a mistake, try to stick it out for at least six months. It’s possible that things will get better and you’ll ultimately enjoy the job. If you’ve worked the job a reasonable amount of time and still want to leave, do so. However, do your research before accepting another job to avoid a potential pattern of job hopping.
If you don’t land the interview you first desired, move on to the next potential opportunity. The right job for you will come around. Persistence pays off!