For some job opening, employers receive hundreds and even thousands of resumes. When you are looking for a job, how can you best promote yourself? How can you convince a prospective employer to pick-up the phone and call you for an interview?
Sought-after career coach and author of the critically-acclaimed book, The Dark Before the Dawn: 70 Secrets to Self-discovery, Theresa Castro states that you should take into consideration that your resume is the first exposure a potential employer will have of you. Given this, you shouldn’t take your resume lightly. Castro offers a list of ten tips that will assist you in creating a winning resume and increasing your chances of getting called for an interview.
1. Do address employment gaps briefly in the cover letter only if the gaps are a significant amount of time such as maternity leave. Use a functional resume to address gaps in employment or changes in field of interest.
2. Think from the perspective of your future employer. What’s in it for them? Why should this company call you? Keep in mind that your resume is not the only resume that will be considered.
3. Recognize that your resume is your “sales person”. This “sales person” must convince the prospective employer to pick up the phone and schedule an interview with you. If your “sales person” isn’t convincing enough then guess what … there won’t be any phone calls. Thus, take the time to make your resume sell, sell, sell. . . yourself.
4. Ask a friend or co-worker about your accomplishments. Some times, we don’t readily recognize or recall the many things that we have done.
5. Make certain that your contact information is correct. It would dreadful to think that an employer wanted to reach you but you mistakenly listed the wrong information.
6. Take advantage of internet technology and place your resume on various websites. There are numerous websites such as Monster, Career Builder and HotJobs that allow you to find a job based on your particular interests. In addition, there are websites that will list jobs that are specific to a particular industry. For example, Medzilla is a website that has job listings exclusively for the medical industry.
7. Demonstrate the key traits in your resume: leadership, communication, teamwork, decision making and problem solving. For leadership, how are you an innovator? For communication, are you approachable? Are you open-minded? Can you communicate effectively orally? In a written format? In regard to teamwork, can you work with others? What examples of teamwork could you illustrate from the past? As far as decision making is concerned, what have you done to play into the success of the companies for whom you have worked? In regard to problem solving, when have you seen the big picture and created a change that had a positive and quantifiable outcome?
8. Each job listing has a particular list of required experiences. If you possess these experiences, then make sure that you express this in your resume. You can’t make any assumptions about what the potential employer knows about you or your work history.
9. Read your resume out loud. By doing this, you will find missing words, grammatical errors or content that just doesn’t make sense.
10. Have at least three friends review your resume. You are utilizing their assistance to ensure that you haven’t missed something or made an easy to fix mistake.
(c) 2005, Theresa Castro
Theresa Castro, MBA is an executive career coach and author of The Dark Before the Dawn: 70 Secrets to Self-discovery. Go to http://www.DiscoverYourDreamJob.com to sign-up for a free 3 day mini-course.