How long do employers look at your resume? 1 minute? 30 seconds? The answer is an average of 6 seconds. In order to maximize your potential in the allotted time, it is recommended that you personalize it to the reader. Employers read numerous resumes and if the information is not clearly connected to the job, they will skip your resume. The proper format and material is just the beginning of the process. Consider the following pointers:
Error Free and Grammatically Correct Documents – A mistake in any application document risks the reader rejecting your candidacy for lack of attention to detail. Proofread your documents!
Concise Writing Style – Employers prefer a writing style that utilizes action verbs and an active voice; passive writing is not recommended. Address the important points directly to keep the audience’s attention.
Experience vs. Academics –Many employers look at Relevant Experience,which could permit excluding your GPA only if it is not required. However, if academics are emphasized then consider including honors, awards, GPA, etc. Technical skills are always desired for both experience and academics.
Formatting – Organizational techniques such as Reverse Chronological Order, ordering by most recent to least recent, and consistency, maintaining the same format for all sections will give you an advantage. This will assist the reader to find key information and allow them to navigate your resume effortlessly. Formatting is key. An effective resume will draw the reader’s attention/interest in approximately 6 seconds.
Include Hometown Address When Applying Locally- Applying near your hometown could provide an advantage due to locality.
Honesty – Truthfully listing your experiences allows for easier conversation with an interviewer.
“8-month-old Micah laughs hysterically while daddy rips up a job rejection letter.”
“What,” you may ask, “is so complicated about Applying for Jobs?” Well, applying for jobs and internships is more than seeing a job posted on Indeed.com, sending off a resume & cover letter and then waiting for a response. If that’s all you’re doing, you could be in for a long wait.
The primary problem is that that method, by itself, doesn’t often yield the results you are looking for. According to many sources, at least 75% of jobs aren’t even advertised. How do you find these hidden jobs? Check out Techniques for Tapping Into the Hidden Job Market on JobHuntersBible, a great resource for your job search. This process is mostly about building relationships with people in your field of interest. Think: volunteering, networking, informational interviewing, and more! (Please see earlier Savvy Senior posts for tips on networking and informational interviewing.)
Another challenging issue, is that when you apply for jobs, you open yourself up to rejection. It’s not unusual to get discouraged when those first few resumes you send out don’t yield any phone calls asking you to come in for an interview. Once you get discouraged, it can be hard to keep putting yourself out there, to keep networking and applying for jobs with enthusiasm.
When disappointment strikes, it’s important to figure out how to maintain your positive energy and continue with your search. Check out this article for some ideas: Top 10 Ways to Deal with Job Rejection. Then, examine how you are going about the job search. Get a fresh perspective, reenergize, and try something new. Also, make sure you aren’t making these 20 Avoidable Job Search Mistakes.
Remember, when you are looking for that first job out of college, it just takes one “Yes.”
Many marathoners will agree that mile 21 is a tough one. You’ve come so far, yet you still have a ways to go. You are almost finished with your college career, almost but not quite.
Where do you find the energy to push through until the end? To sit down and polish your resume, create a professional Linked-In profile, attend networking events, make professional connections and apply and interview for jobs? Not to mention, homework and tests.
Whew! Just reading through the list could make you tired.
Let us consider advice from the Marathon pros to help you finish the year strong!
• Pace yourself: This isn’t a quick sprint. Keep taking steady, sustainable steps forward
• Take care of yourself throughout the process: rest and good food are your friends
• Pay attention to your mind-set and self-talk: success is mainly in the mind
• Set reasonable outcome and process goals: think of things you can easily achieve, as well as ultimate goals
To help you keep moving forward and meeting your goals, step-by-step, the focus this month is on Resumes and your Professional Presentation.
The keystone of your job search is your resume. You will need it to network and job search effectively. If you don’t have one yet, now’s the time!
If you already have a fabulous resume, please consider your on-line presence. Are you Linked-In? Have you checked your Facebook Privacy settings? Have you Googled yourself lately? Now is the time to create a positive, professional on-line presence.
Ryan Hall, on running a marathon:
“I don’t think about the miles that are coming down the road, I don’t think about the mile I’m on right now, I don’t think about the miles I’ve already covered. I think about what I’m doing right now, just being lost in the moment.”
You’re entering the home stretch.
Wishing you well!