G: How to keep your resume out of the GARBAGE.
Are you frustrated because you have been sending out tons of resumes without any response? Do you realize that there are a few things that you can do when applying to jobs to essentially guarantee a response? Follow these six steps to keep your resume out of the garbage:
Only apply for jobs you are qualified for.
This sounds simple, but if you apply for any and every job that you come across, your chances of getting a favorable response greatly decreases. Employers are looking for to fit the proverbial round peg in the round hole. When reviewing resumes, they are looking for evidence that the candidate has the skills to do the job and that they have provided examples of how they have done the job in the past. If your resume lacks the details they are looking for, then in the garbage it will go.
Include a cover letter.
Cover letters are a great way to introduce yourself to the recruiter or hiring manager. It is your chance to add a personal touch to your job search communications while pointing out why you are the best candidate for the position. Be sure to address your cover letter to a person, if applicable, and use the opening paragraph to explain why you are writing. Close your cover letter by including information on how the employer can reach you as well as details on how and when you plan to follow up.
Use the right resume format.
Stay away from the functional resume format when writing your resume. This format is despised by most recruiters and hiring managers because it breaks the link between what you did and where you did it. Job seekers typically use this format to hide or downplay information. Since employers and recruiters like to see your experience and accomplishments as they relate to each employer, use the chronological format. This is the most widely accepted resume format.
Write relevant accomplishments.
Accomplishments showcase your value and help the employer understand what you have done well for other employers. Your accomplishments should be relevant to the position you are applying for so that the employer can draw the right conclusions. When writing accomplishments, continuously ask yourself the questions, “So what?” or “Why is this important?” as it relates to your accomplishments.
Customize your resume for the job you are applying for.
Make sure your resume addresses the requirements in the job position. This means that you need to customize your resume for each position that you are applying for. When customizing your resume, focus on matching your experience and skills to the job description. If the position calls for 5 years experience and you qualify, make sure you state this in the resume. If the position description states that you need to be competent in skills such as lean manufacturing or non-profit accounting and you have these skills, be sure they are evident in your resume.
Make sure your resume answers the question: “Why should I hire you?”
If your resume cannot answer this one question, then you need to re-write it until it does. Don’t leave this question up to the employer to figure out. You only have about 15 to 30 seconds to impress the recruiter or hiring manager to want to read your resume in more detail and contact you for a possible interview. If your resume does not convey your value upfront and provide examples of your key accomplishments, your chances of receiving an interview are slim to none.
Follow these six steps to the letter to guarantee your resume stays out of the garbage and remains in the running for interview consideration.