MCLEAN, Va., Jan. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/– Employers receive hundreds of applications in response to job openings, so it is imperative that you and your resume stand out from the crowd. Here are five surefire practices that will help you get your foot in the door.
Skip the objective statement
Instead of putting an objective statement at the beginning of your resume, create a job-specific, targeted introduction outlining your capabilities. Here, it is essential to avoid descriptions that could apply to a multitude of other job seekers. For example, drop lines like “I am people oriented,” and replace them with actual facts about your accomplishments. “Increased supplemental sales by 45% with widely recognized customer service abilities” says the same thing, but is both personal and illustrative of actual achievements. “Specifically, statistics and awards naturally distinguish you from other candidates because no one else can claim them as their own. When you include measurable accomplishments in your resume, you are demonstrating that you are a proven performer, and this gets the attention of hiring managers,” explains Alex Soto, a professional resume writer and career consultant.
Show what you can do
Successful job seekers show what they can do for an employer by relating their experiences in a way that is specifically tailored to an employer’s objectives, expectations and requirements. It may be your resume and experience, but your job search is definitely not about you. Understanding as much as you can about a potential employer is invaluable — thoroughly research the company and study the job description to ensure that your resume and cover letter are customized and reflect time and effort spent.
Make sure your resume reflects your experience level
If you are a recent graduate, your resume won’t, and shouldn’t be expected to, resemble someone’s with ten years of experience. A job seeker who has been a part of the workforce for a decade or more should focus heavily on achievements and progress. Someone just out of school, however, should concentrate on projects and accomplishments, and possibly some community, educational or sports activities. Do not attempt to pad your resume to make you look like someone you are not.
Express in writing why an employer should hire you
Why are you better than everyone else? Emphasize your strengths and don’t be afraid to mention your abilities. Just be careful how you phrase it. “A successful resume and cover letter should exhibit your track record as an achiever, not a doer. If you simply describe each job as a list of completed tasks, recruiters will write you off. A mere catalogue of duties does not communicate strength or value,” says Peggy Padalino of Jobfox.
Static expressions like ‘responsible for,’ ‘able to do,’ or ‘participated in’ are passive and reflect demonstrate a tendency to follow, not lead. Instead, communicate your achievements in a more dynamic manner, making use of proactive phrases like ‘chosen to lead…,’ ‘used knowledge of…’ or ‘played a key role in…’.
The final, and most important thing you can do to get yourself hired is to exude confidence. Be secure and self-assured — without the right attitude, your chances of being hired diminish greatly. Although it’s natural (and generally recommended) to shy away from tooting your own horn, humility is not always productive when trying to get a job. If you want to get the job, you have to get noticed. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, as they say, so squeak on!
By Tim Spagnola
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