A reader asks, "I was wondering what a person has to do to even get noticed in this sea of resumes? I have been looking for a job for over a year and I have a Bachelor's degree in Business/Project Management. I also am enrolled for my Master's degree for business and I can't even get a call. I don't know what to do. Irritated!"
My response: Resume submission and review has changed dramatically with the wide use of technology as the first step in the hiring process. As a result, the way you craft your resume needs to change. When you are asked to complete an online application that requires filling in text boxes, your submission is going into a database that will use a search engine to make "best fit matches" with the employer's position.
To get your resume noticed, there are three areas to focus on.
If you're staying within your same field, a well-crafted professional summary containing a few sentences (two to five lines) that summarizes what you've done and highlights what you are known for is the way to go (in lieu of an objective).
Below this, add some expertise bullets that match the language you see on each job posting.
An objective within a "Qualifications" section can work if you are looking for work that is different from what you've been doing.
Make the statement relevant and customized for each job to which you are applying. It should highlight what you bring to an employer (not what you want from them, save that until you get an interview!).
Instead of expertise bullets, which you may not have since this is a new direction, highlight three to five of your relevant, transferable skills that match the position requirements.
Give a brief overview of the position and bullet two to five of your accomplishments or successes in the role. Employers are impressed with your specific contributions and the "value add" you brought to the tasks and not with company information, job descriptions or daily duties.
Some items to note for this section:
Using these techniques your resume has a much better chance of being selected from the database or pile. At this point in the process, your resume may be printed out or emailed to others and how it looks starts to count. A resume that is not too dense, with white space and a visually appealing format can make a difference. If the resume is visually unappealing and looks hard to read, the reader may pass it over or do a quick scan, and all your hard work in customizing and agonizing over the details will go unnoticed.
As you incorporate these approaches into your resume, your chances of getting your resume noticed increase. Remember, no one resume fits all; customization and relevant content are the name of the game.
Post your resume on JobsInRI.com.
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About the Author:
After many years in corporate HR management, Leslie Rothman established Career and Workplace Directions in 1998, providing outplacement coaching and HR consulting services to organizations and career, workplace and job search assistance to individuals. For more information, please visit her website atCWDirections.com.