Soon, I will be applying for jobs, so I have been reading up on some ways to help me stand out. Career Rocketeer’s 7 Keys to Keep Your Resume on Top of the Stack gave me some advice that I would like to share with you .
Take control. Keeping track of your applications and your responses can help you keep organized in your job search. The website, www.jibberjobber.com, is a tool that can help you to keep your job search organized. When you’re tracking the companies to which you have applied, which positions, and more, it provides you with the big picture so that you don’t have to guess how many applications you’ve sent in. Remembering doesn’t always work. It also tells you which ones are responding and what the next steps to take are.
Apply to jobs that apply to you. With this economy, you need to only apply jobs to which your qualified for. If your under-qualified for something, you are wasting your time because there are numerous qualified applicants. Also, applying for positions that you are over-qualified for may not be a good idea. Employers are apprehensive about hiring over-qualified people because they think you will leave right away when something better comes along.
Personalize your contact. If you personally know a contact in the company send your resume to them directly. If you are associated with someone, you will be hard to forget.
Use your resources. Optimize your time by not applying to positions for which you are under or over qualified. Use the job descriptions of the positions you are applying to as a guide for those keywords that you’ll want to include in your resume and cover letter. You can usually tell which ones the company wants to see the most because these fall under position REQUIREMENTS. These should be in the TOP one-third of your resume—what I would call above the fold. It’s important that the employer sees this in his initial five-second review. It will buy you additional time and motivate the employer to review the rest of the resume. Be sure to include the PREFERRED qualifications as well; this makes you an even more desirable client. If you show them in your resume that you meet all of their required and preferred qualifications, why wouldn’t they call you? That would make you the ideal candidate. Then their search is over—and you have the interview.
Stand out. Employers have a lot of choices, so they can be as picky as they want. Don’t waste your time sending out resumes and cover letters that are, in effect, a laundry list of what you want and what you need in a job. It won’t get you very far. Instead, be specific about what you can offer that aligns with the employer’s needs. Also, try sending a personalized business card or adding a powerful personal branding statement on your resume.
First impression is EVERYTHING. Your resume format can tell an employer that your organized or a mess. What you wear to an interview matters. No matter your qualifications, if you fail your first impression, you won’t be hired.
Sell it. Make sure you list your accomplishments. Sell your skills. An employer wants a confident and accomplished employee. If you weren’t fired from your previous jobs, you did something right!
These tips won’t guarantee you a job, but it will help keep your resume from finding a place in the trash can.