Retool Your Resume For Every Job You Apply To
If youve been submitting the same resume with every job application, stop immediately and learn how to improve your resume by rewriting it for each position you target. Heres why:
Youre writing to the hiring manager at the specific company you want to work for, not to your industry in general. If the employer or their applicant tracking system doesnt find the skills-based resume keywords theyre seeking, theyll send your application straight to their trash folder.
So how do you determine what keywords will get your resume into the hiring managers interview shortlist folder? The answer is simple:
Read the position requirements in the job ad and ensure every word of your resume tells the hiring manager that you meet their criteria.
Highlight Efforts During The Pandemic
As we all know, 2020 was challenging, especially for job seekers. Make sure to highlight how you worked through COVID-19especially how resilient you were. How did you continue building on your experience? Or how did you help your business stay afloat? What new skills and tools did you learn? Dont gloss over this challenging time. The fact you got through it, and especially your achievements during it, shed light on the type of worker you are.
How An Improved Resume Can Help With Your Job Application
The better your resume is, the bigger your chances of getting the desired position are.
Do you think your resume is good enough?
If your answer is somewhere between not sure and possibly, read on.
We believe that small improvements in each resume section can go a long way.
Adjusting your summary is valuable for not one but many reasons:
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Write A Resume Introduction
Boost your resume by putting your most marketable skills in a concise introduction. Summarizing your resume in a short paragraph or bulleted list makes your resume reader-friendly and ensures your most impressive accomplishments dont get lost at the bottom of your resume.
If youre writing a resume without experience, use an introduction known as a resume objective that highlights your skills. Later in your career, when you have impressive achievements to showcase, start your resume with a summary of qualifications or a resume summary.
Why Are Resumes Important
The reason resumes are so important is because they are the easiest way for an employer to get a snapshot of your skills and accomplishments. Employers need an easy way to weed out candidates and it is the resume that was designed for that purpose. A great resume is one where an employer can easily see your education, honors, and awards, relevant coursework, relevant and additional experience, as well as special skills and co-curricular activities that youve accomplished.
Resumes are professional documents. They provide employers with relevant information on which to base a decision on whom theyd like to interview and which of the applicants appear to be unqualified. Since the importance of writing a great resume cant be overlooked, taking the time to improve your resume is often all it takes to get an employer to take notice.
I see many resumes over the course of each day and I often notice that there are usually some very easy ways that can dramatically improve a resume to help it stand out among the rest. Even though I do see a number of mistakes on resumes, oftentimes its not really a mistake per se but its more about what can be done to portray professional and academic experiences more effectively.
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Take On A Leadership Role On Campus
Serving as president, captain or treasurer of an organization or club shows employers you have leadership abilities. It demonstrates that you can take on added responsibilities and handle multiple commitments at once. Leadership roles often come with plenty of skills you can utilize in the workplace such as budgeting, managing a group, team building, event planning and more.
Show that you are a leader in any area of your life in college, says Deborah Sweeney, CEO and hiring manager of MyCorporation. She explains that can be in your part-time job, in your sorority or fraternity or in a volunteer position. The work can be diverse, but show leadership and a desire to go above and beyond. Show that you are a stand-out and that you are a committed hard worker in any positions you hold.
Dont Worry If You Dont Have Experience
If youre new to the workforce or have changed your career path, dont omit the experience section. Even without experience, you can focus on your skills and anything else that is relevant such as academic projects you completed. Then use your cover letter to explain your lack of experience in a positive way and why you are still a great fit for the job.
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List Relevant Experience In Reverse Chronological Order And Order Of Importance
Unless youre a new graduate, work experience should be the first thing mentioned after your contact info and summary. Include your most recent and relevant experience only. Do not include experience from over 10 years ago or experience that doesnt relate at all to the position youre applying for.The experience section should be in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent job. The only reason you may put a job that wasnt your most recent job first is if that job is the most relevant to the position youre applying for.For each position, list accomplishments and responsibilities in order of importance and relevance to the job youre applying for. You should list these using bullet points and short to the point sentences. Include a maximum of six bullet points under each position.
How To Improve Your Resume In Under 30 Minutes
The famous German politician Helmut Schmidt once said:
The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.
The same goes for your job resume. No matter how good your resume is, there is always something you can improve.
We will show you how to do it!
In the article, you will learn:
- How to improve your resume and make it even better than before
- How an improved resume can enhance your chances of getting a new job
- How to tell incredible stories in your resume sections
- How to present yourself in the best possible way
- How to take advantage of numbers and results
Lets get right into it!
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Freelance Opportunities To Add Tangible Examples To Your Resume
If youre a creative professional already well-versed in design skills but are seeking more from the design community around you, AIGA, or the Professional Association for Design, is the place to look. TheProfessional Association for Design has created a community resource hub for anyone involved in the design community. The site offers design courses, freelance opportunities, and business help and advice for small business owners.
Optimize Keywords To Satisfy The Ats
Make sure that you research and use the right keywords, based on the information found in the job posting. Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems now, and you need to get past those systems. An ATS relies on keyword searches as part of its approval protocol. If your resume doesnât contain the right words, youâre likely to get rejected. Improve your resume by using those relevant keywords to satisfy the machines and ensure that your resume reaches human eyes.
Look at the job description for ideas on what keywords you can incorporate. You can use a core competencies section on your resume to easily tailor keywords to each position you apply to. After your resume summary, this is the best real estate for your key skills and talents.
Example of an optimized core competencies section:
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Prioritize Your Top Skills
Choose your top six to eight skills that fit your desired position. Identify those skills that you are most qualified in and can highlight confidently on your resume. You want to include a mix of hard and soft skills so that a hiring manager sees you have the technical knowledge and the personality characteristics to fit into the position. There is limited space on your resume, so focus on your most valuable or well-developed skills and save less critical skills to share during an interview.
Applicant Tracking Systems Are Everywhere
Nowadays, many companies use applicant tracking systems to manage the countless job applications they receive. These systems scan your resume and rank your application against the job description. Applications which receive high scores get shortlisted for an interview call. Making your resume applicant tracking system friendly can be the difference between an interview or a rejection email. When uploading your resume, use a standard Word .doc format, as some systems cannot read a .dox or .pdf file. Also, use simple formatting and put all important information in the body of the resume rather than footers or charts.
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Choose Winning Keywords For Your Position And Industry
Focusing on exact keywords found in the job description may help you rank higher in an ATS. Jobscans resume optimization tool analyzes your resume against the job description to show which keywords you need on your resume.
Teach Yourself A New Skill
With so many online resources at your fingertips, there are plenty of options if youre looking to learn something new. Course platforms like Lynda and Coursera offer online classes teaching just about everything.
Maybe youll learn to code over spring break or take up a second language over the summer. Either way, employers are impressed by applicants who are self-starters and eager to learn. Plus, you may be able to utilize these newfound skills in your career.
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Ensure Your Resume Font Is Clean And Consistent
The style of your resume can say a lot about your professional demeanor . Subsequently, your resume should present itself as professional, clean and easy to read from top to bottom. Body text should be no smaller than 10 point and headers should be in the 14 16 point range. Use capitalization, bold and italicize consistently .
While I am a fan of using color on resumes, keep it simple and use it sparingly, such as a nice blue for headers and contact info. Also make sure your bullet points line up properly and there are no formatting inconsistencies. Heres a full article on how to format your resume for success, top to bottom.
Make Your Contact Information Easy To Find
Once the hiring manager finishes reading your resume, it will be time to call or email you for an interview. Having easy to find contact information will make that process go smoothly.
Now, lets be clear. Getting hired in the financial sector is never easy. That being said, you can vastly improve your chances by having a fantastic resume. We hope that this article brings you one step closer to getting the job of your dreams.
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Shorten Paragraphs For Enhanced Readability
Just like a resume, employers might not have time to read through everything on your CV. That is why it is important to make your paragraphs small, between two to three sentences in length. This is more pleasing to the eye and makes it easier for employers to skim through your qualifications. You can also shorten paragraphs by transforming written lists into a bulleted format where appropriate.
For example, instead of saying: “I learned how to communicate better with teammates, prioritize time management and develop problem-solving skills,” you could say something like: “From my role as a project manager, I learned to:
Streamline communication with teammates
Learn Branding And Design Basics And How To Create Them Yourself
If youre not looking to learn a whole host of design applications, give Canva a shot. A much simpler design tool, Canva allows for creating things like graphics from scratch or from the help of their templates. Think of Canva as a bowling lane with the bumpers onyoure still going to be successful, youre just getting a little guidance along the way. To gain familiarity with the site,Canvas design school offers a variety of courses including graphic design and branding. The use of the platform and the courses are entirely free, with the option to increase to a premium subscription. Proficiency in Canva opens opportunities to be able to brand yourself, a small-business, or someone else in whatever aesthetic youre looking forjust on a much simpler scale.
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Take Advantage Of Career Services
Need help identifying resume building activities specific to your major or career interests? Be sure to make an appointment with your colleges Career Services office. The Career Services staff is here to help students identify curricular, co-curricular, volunteer and work opportunities that will help them develop the skills and experiences needed to be competitive for the professional world or graduate school, says Wheelock College Career Services Director Kelly Graham.
Not only do you need to build experiences and develop skills relevant to your career interests, you need to think about how you will articulate the value of these experiences. Career Services will guide you in building your resume, preparing for interviews and marketing yourself to employers so that you stand-out in the application process, Graham says.
Capture The Most Important Information First
If you are a student still in college or a new graduate, include the Education section of your resume first. Since this is what youve been doing full-time over the course of the past several years, its important to have Education included at the very top of the resume followed by a Relevant Coursework or Relevant Experience section right below. Under each heading, you will then want to include the most recent experience first.
Employers often skim resumes first to find the most qualified candidates prior to looking them over more carefully so when writing your resume be sure to highlight how you meet the specific qualifications of the internship or job. Finding a way to organize all of the information on a resume is often the most difficult part of the whole process.
You may choose to include an Objective or Summary of Qualifications section above the Education section of your resume if you do, make sure you focus this section on the requirements of the job.
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The Last Thing You Want Is For Employers To Barely Skim Through Your Resume And Then Throw It In The Bin So Try To Consider How You Can Boost And Improve It
No matter what kind of job you apply for, the first thing employers tend to see is your resume. Whether you want to head into the business world, retail, hospitality industry, or finance, your resume needs to portray you in a positive light. It should list your expertise and credentials, and help you stand out from other candidates.
If your resume is looking a little bare, there are many things you can do and add to it to give you a competitive edge, such as those listed below.
Move The Most Relevant Info To The Top
While you should spend time tailoring your resume for every job that you apply to, we all know that customizing resumes is a timely process and does not take just a few minutes. Plus, this article is dedicated to quick As such, I suggest just focusing on the order of your resume for now, ensuring that the most relevant info is at the top.
Your most relevant experience should always be near the top, even if it is not your most recent experience, as you can always have multiple sections that list you experience .While dependent on your field and amount of experience, your education should also appear near the top of your resume, along with relevant certificates, software proficiency and knowledge of multiple languages.
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Want To Work In It Look For A Paid Apprenticeship
After earning his undergraduate degree in Latin-American studies at Oberlin College, Richard Morales had his sights set on his dream job at El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem, a Latino and Latin-American cultural institution, but he smacked into dead ends.
I applied to work there, but I never got any response, he said. So, I figured one way I would get my foot into the door was volunteering. Being the persistent New Yorker that I am, I called them repeatedly until I got an actual human being on the phone. Eventually, they got back to me, and we started speaking about the position.
He landed a non-paying gig in 2013, checking people in for events and creating an organized system, with the game plan of working hard and doing the best job he could.
I figured, Im going to show you my work ethic, what Im capable of doing, how I work, how I interact with audiences and with staff and always putting my best face forward, whether or not it was a volunteer role.
Morales simultaneously juggled three part-time paid jobs until 2015, when the museum approached him with a full-time job opening.
Two of the three people I met with when I interviewed, Id worked with in a volunteer capacity, he said. Its definitely important to do what you can to make a good impression. You dont know who will be the other side of the table. It may be the same person you worked with. Word can get around about who you are.
It was a good feeling. It felt nice to help out.