If you are in search of your new dream job, you face one of three things: Either you just finished a degree and are ready to get your life started; you are unemployed and in desperate need of work; or you are unhappy in your current position and are looking for a change. Regardless of the situation, I have some tips to get you underway.
Before you are able to get in the door for an interview you will want to make sure your resume is the best it can be. Many are confident about their resume; however, most make resume mistakes, which means you should review yours just in case. Often you will find that with the right resume you could have the job long before you see an interviewer. The actual meeting could end up being solely a formality.
It is really easy for you to talk about yourself in a way that makes you sound like the best candidate ever. The problem with that is employers aren’t interested in your biased opinion. They are more interested in the facts. This includes your work history, education and any honors you have received in work and school. Don’t add in a section just to talk about your dependability and work ethic–it’s a definite turnoff.
Document your Target Position
For example, if you are a registered nurse you can put that title at the top of the page or you can opt for something that will work even better. Instead if you are looking for a career specifically in Emergency Medicine you should opt for “Emergency Nurse.” By doing this you will receive more phone calls and interviews. I know that it seems counter-intuitive to narrow down your preferred job, but what it is actually doing is helping you to stand apart from the crowd.
No, I don’t want you to put “patience is a virtue” on your resume. What I mean by including quotes is those that come from your peers, colleagues, or educators. Ask professionals to define you through a simple elegant quote. For example: “Jennifer exceeds all expectations. She is meticulous and is an exceptional leader.” Include this in the middle of the first page.
Select Keywords Carefully
Showing up on searches is one of the best ways to make the phone ring. You can improve your chances by inserting the appropriate keywords in your resume. One easy way to find the appropriate keywords is to search job boards and agencies. Let’s stick with the nurse example: look through nursing jobs on a temp agency listing and see what words you see frequently. Include these in your resume and you will definitely stick out.
Stick to the Facts
I know it’s tempting to up sell yourself and talk about all of the wonderful things in your life. The truth is, employers don’t care. Leave the personal stuff out. Document your actual relevant work experience, whether it be on the job or educational training.
Along with these tips there are a few things to avoid…
Never Ever Use Cutesy Fonts
It doesn’t matter if you are going for a creative position. Anything but simple font makes your resume difficult to scan through quickly. It will be placed in the “no pile” immediately.
Jokes Aren’t Funny on A Resume
You may very well be a walking comedian. It doesn’t matter. At this point you need a job and your employer probably isn’t looking for the class clown.
Don’t Link to your Blog or Website
Generally employers aren’t interested in what you do on your free time. There is a chance if you are looking for a creative job an employer will ask for this. If that situation arises you can always add it in. Don’t just send your resume to 15 employers promoting your “side business.”
Now it’s time to get to your resume. Whether you are starting from scratch or just need to revamp, following these guidelines should increase your callback conversion. Good luck!
Anna is a freelance writer who is often writing about finance and career. Anna’s normal writing topics are usually covering personal finance or in depth career advice like how to find the best nursing jobs in what is such a broad career field. Anna is also the editor of paidtwice.com, a personal finance blog.
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