It’s been a tough time out there for many of us. Some have lost work (as I have), received pay cuts, was hired then fired again; all within a vicious cycle of a struggling economy. Millions of new candidates ready to work for fewer and fewer jobs.
Some of those people started their own businesses or were able to find work through a recruitment agency. But what about the rest? What if they decided to go out on their own to try and find their next career step? What if they were looking for a job in their field where there were 100 applicants for 1 position? That’s pretty scary. It leads to uncertainty and discouragement and frustration.
With so many people out there looking for work, how can you rise above everyone else? Chances are that you don’t have the capital in order to purchase a billboard. Maybe you do but how effective would it be? There are many other ways to do things differently, but I’m going to talk about the plain old fashioned paper resume.
So what are some ways you can create a killer resume?
- Do the basics. Type it out. Spell correctly. Avoid poor grammar. Put your contact information where it’s easy to see. It’s amazing at how bad some resumes are and how easy it is to do the basics. Really, there is no excuse for this.
- Create custom resumes for each position applied for. Yeah, I know it seems like a lot of work, but if you take the time to customize each resume for each position, you will make sure that the hiring manager is getting the best info from you.
- Put relevant experience from the last 10 years. Your resume isn’t LinkedIn where you want to put as much experience as you can and no one will read a 3 page resume no matter how damn amazing it is. However, don’t think this is a hard rule. If the position you are applying for requires 10-15 years of experience and yours is broken up over a period of time, put what you can to reduce employment gaps. You’re not guaranteed an interview so if you have gaps, you may go straight into the outbox.
- Get someone to proofread. And I don’t mean your mother-in-law. I mean go find someone who writes for a living and ask them to give your resume a once over.
- Keep it simple and short. You don’t have to write a book. You can be more detailed in your cover letter.
- And for the love of all that is holy, keep your personal feelings about stuff out of your resume!
You can Google all day long and find a million different thoughts about what makes a good resume. And you’d probably do just fine following some of those guidelines. Just use some common sense. Get some assistance if you don’t know exactly how to do it right. Looking for work isn’t easy and it can quickly lead to frustration. Keep a positive attitude and it’ll come out in your resume.