So, you’re looking for a job, eh? Well, you’ve certainly come to the right place. As a recruiter for Adecco Staffing, it is my job to match people to the right jobs for them (and also as a Stay Work Play blogger), now I am here to help you!
In order for me to match people to the right job for them, I must first look at their resume. Your resume is a way to make yourself stand out before meeting your potential employer as they will be using it to decide whether or not to call you for an interview. With that in mind, here are some helpful tips for writing a killer resume that will get you noticed:
1. Spell Check
I can’t stress enough the importance of Spell Check in a resume. You’re probably all thinking, ‘Well, obviously! Why on earth would I come to visit this blog for obvious tips?’ Well, I don’t feel that this is quite obvious enough. The number of resumes that I come across with spelling and grammar mistakes on a daily basis is staggering. When job hunting, it is easy to want to quickly whip up a resume so that you can send it out to as many employers as possible and because you are making it so quickly, it is easy to overlook things. Best to go slowly and make sure everything is correct.
2. Tailor your resume to the job
When I returned from the Peace Corps and was trying to find a job, I applied to hundreds of non-profits and social organizations all over the country. I hope that you have noticed that I am not working for a non-profit or social organization and I’ll bet that you’re now wondering why (don’t you think I would be GREAT at that sort of thing?). I have two reasons for this (the first one is unrelated to this article and involves loving New Hampshire and my current job), the second reason being that I didn’t bother tailoring my resume for each job I sent it to. A job listing for a paraprofessional got the same exact resume as a listing for a social media director. It got to the point where I was barely reading the job descriptions. You’re best bet? Read the job descriptions in depth and then rewrite your resume to reflect those job descriptions and key skills. Not only is it going to make you look like you know your stuff but it is also going to tell your future employer that you actually read the job description and that you are very interested in the job.
3. Include a cover letter
A resume by itself is not going to give your future employer the full picture of who you are. Yes, he or she will be able to see your skills and accomplishments, but they will only have that – just a shell of a picture of a person. By including a cover letter, you are showing them how professional, mature, and ready for the position that you will be taking. As in tip number 2, please tailor your cover letter to the job that you are applying for. And by tailor, I do not mean change the name at the top, which is exactly what I did; I mean, put in keywords and skills that are specific to the job that you are applying for.
4. Choose your format
There are two types of resumes that I see on a daily basis – chronological and functional. Chronological resumes are typically more popular and are used when you are seeking a job within your field. People with a good deal of experience in a certain field will use a chronological resume. With chronological resumes, it is important to include dates as well as accomplishments to showcase your skills with a particular job. Functional resumes are great for younger people who have very little experience or for people who are interested in finding a new job outside of their original career path. Functional resumes focus on the skills rather than the dates and specific jobs that a person has.
5. Cut it down
The length of your resume should be in line with the amount of experience that you have as well as the type of job to which you are applying. The main thing is to catch your future employer’s attention and hold it. A lengthy resume with with an overwhelming amount of information will often get bypassed and moved to the ‘no’ pile regardless of how great a fit for the position that person is. You, on the other hand, will have a clear and concise resume that has been formatted in such a way that it is aesthetically pleasing and has an efficient use of space.
So, you’ve written the perfect resume and you’ve gotten the call for an interview, huh? That is great, especially because I know that you have followed my tips!
I know that I mentioned seeing a lot of resumes on a daily basis, but did I mention that I interview candidates for jobs, as well? I do! And, to help you nail that job interview, I’ve come up with some helpful tips:
I wish I didn’t have to say this, but based on the number of applicants I have had come through my door still in their pajamas, I feel that it is necessary — come to your interview looking sharp. Make sure that you have had a shower that day, put on a suit, and maybe brush your teeth again. In my experience, dressing for the job that you want (and not necessarily are applying for) is what is going to impress your future employer. Presenting yourself in a professional manner is going to tell your future employer that you are serious about your future and about the job that they will be hiring you for.
2. Honesty, not negativity
Obviously, you want to be honest when answering questions and speaking with your future employer, but you do not want to be negative. If you hated your last job, don’t talk about how awful it was or how terrible your last boss was. Negativity will make your future employer feel as though you might not like his or her workplace. Instead, focus on the things that were great about your last job and the things that you did well there.
3. Don’t be nervous
It is very easy to get nervous during a job interview. You really want this job and you can’t screw it up in the interview or you’ll never get a job. Right? Wrong. If you make a mistake in an interview, maybe you won’t get that job, but you’ll certainly get the next one. Look at the interview as a conversation between strangers. Talk to your interviewer as if they are someone you just met and would like to get to know better. That’s not scary, is it? Conversations between peers are never something to induce anxiety, so treat it as such instead of the ‘be all, end all’ job interview.
And, there you have it! My world famous tips and tricks to writing a great resume, landing the interview, and getting the job. Here are some other helpful sites for resumes, cover letters, interviewing tricks, and finding a job:
- Winning Resumes
- Cover Letters
- Job Interviews
- Resources to Help Your Job Hunt
- NH Industry & Workforce Information
- Finding a Job in NH
What do you think? Let me know your sure-fire ways of landing that perfect job in the comments!