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Common Questions and Answers
No doubt, this is a tough job market, and who knows when it will get better? With so many applicants for too few positions, it’s no wonder employers ignore all but the top qualified candidates. Do you find yourself applying to positions that you are sure you are the best qualified, but you still get no response? It may be more than just competition, the problem may be your resume.
You must illustrate that you have the best qualifications by listing all your relevant responsibilities, certifications, education, professional training and technical skills that relate to your current career objective. Don’t forget volunteer work that demonstrates skills needed for your next job. Key industry words and phrases are also very important. If you do not know what information to include use job postings as a check list for what should be added to your resume.
This is a common problem for those who update their resume simply by adding new text to the old resume. If this is your update method, chances are your resume has a lot of dead wood that needs trimming. A good rule of thumb is that everything on your resume should relate to your current career objection. That means before adding new information, check the old text to see if it still relates. If not, you may need to change the emphasis on prior employment entries, or delete extraneous details.
An additional source of resume deadwood is wordiness. A good resume reads fast and sharp. When possible make four words do the work of six. Avoid pronouns like “results oriented,” “fast paced,” “hard working,” and “honest”. Rather, let your accomplishments illustrate those qualities.
If you are short on needed experience showcase the next best thing, your transferable skills. Include your accomplishments that illustrate your most important transferable skills needed for the job. Your transferable skills may include customer service, problem solving, client relationship building, cost cutting or revenue generating. Use the job postings to understand what skills are needed most for the job and include those in your resume.
If you feel you are being labeled “overqualified” maybe that’s just what your resume is saying. Remember, the first job of a resume is to match the requirements of the positions you are applying for. If you apply for a non-management position, emphasize your ability as an individual contributor. Write about what you accomplished as part of a team rather than how you led the team. Illustrate how you contributed to the development of a new process rather than how you designed the process.
In today’s difficult economy employers are looking for people who can impact the bottom line. Every company wants employees who can save money, contribute to revenue growth, streamline a procedure and keep customers happy. Make sure your resume includes accomplishments that result in these corporate initiatives. Quantifiable results give you the sharpest edge against all other job applicants who have the same qualifications as you.
Competition for good jobs will continue to be high. A well written resume is your best tool to help get you in front of hiring managers who will call you for interview. Don’t let another good opportunity pass you by. Improve your resume and improve your chances for your next job.
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