Looking for a new job is no fun, especially in a world where the best practices for applying and following up are changing faster than you can follow.
Before you start stressing about whether or not to send a thank-you note after the interview or if it’s still encouraged to wear power colors when meeting recruiters, you have to score the invitation.
Getting offered a meeting or interview starts with your resume (or an online application, but let’s face it, they still ask you to attach a resume). Job hunting means it’s time to spice up your resume — for each and every job you’re applying for. This is not a one-size-fits-all world anymore.
Follow our advice to get your resume in tip-top shape, no matter what you’re applying for.
● Keep It Brief
Your resume should provide the necessary information, and only the necessary information. It is better to have a clean, concise resume with less information than one cluttered with irrelevant facts. Take some time and trim the fat.
● Use Specific, Quantifiable Examples
The first bullet point under a previous job can showcase duties and requirements, but the subsequent ones need to detail your achievements in the position. Use numbers to make accomplishments concrete and action-focused language to illustrate cause and effect.
● Customize Everything
Yes, it’s a pain, and yes, it’s necessary. Updating the details of your resume not only makes you a more relevant candidate, but it shows attention to detail. Make sure you proofread each section as it’s updated.
● Don’t Neglect Your Education
Even if you’re out of school and have been for years, your education is relevant. Additionally, consider any recent seminars or continuing education sessions you’ve attended, even if they weren’t labeled that way. Think outside the box.
● Ditch the Objective Statement
When you applied for the job, you told the recruiter what your objective was; there’s no reason to take up precious resume space with something you’ll address in the cover letter. While an objective may serve you well if you’re making a vast career change, you might be better off using an alternative tactic.
Paring down all your achievements to one page can be a daunting task. If you’re having trouble deciding what to cut and what to keep, try the following: Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. If you were looking to fill the position, what traits would you be looking for? Review the job posting for clues. Use the answers you come up with to guide what you include on your resume.
Even then, it may be hard to decide. If there’s something you absolutely feel the need to include, but it doesn’t have a home on your resume, utilize your cover letter. With a concise and tailored resume, you’ll have plenty of time to elaborate on your accomplishments during the interview.
Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.