By Janice Burch, Executive Resume Writer, Career Coach, Co-Owner at Pro Resume Center, LLC
Two to one: That’s the number of unemployed people actively applying for every one posted position in the U.S.
There are about 4.4 million current job openings and more than 9.8 million unemployed Americans actively seeking a job. That number of job applicants does not include those who have temporarily given up their search due to discouragement or took an early retirement from an employer who gave them no other option, and still need to find work to make ends meet.
It also does not account for those who are currently employed yet looking to change jobs – they also are applying for one of those 4.4 million jobs.
Now more than ever before, job seekers need to do everything they can to get an edge up on their competition to stand out in today’s job market.
Your resume is your advertisement. It speaks to your credibility, experience, professional level and ability to make a great first impression. Potential employers want to know if you can make a great first impression, as this will translate well for their company and how you will represent their interests. Your resume will either capture the hiring team’s attention or push you into the “no” pile.
Here are the Top 5 Tips you need to know today to change up your job search game and get noticed, get the call and land the interview:
1. Think like a marketer
Your resume and cover letter and LinkedIn profile are your marketing tools to sell your skills, experience and savvy to a future employer. If you can’t present or sell yourself well, why would an employer want to hire you to represent or work on their products, services or ideas? Today’s job seekers must think like a marketing pro to get noticed. This doesn’t mean crazy gimmicks or ridiculous ad- like offers need to accompany your resume. Keep it classy, relevant and authentic. Focus in on your strengths applicable to the job. Use words and phrases to help sell your abilities to a future employer.
2. Out with the old job objective: in with the career statement
For decades college graduates and most all job applicants have heeded advice to create a compelling job objective to put at the head of their resume. But HR execs and studies have weighed in – it’s time to get rid of these ancient and often cliché phrases and replace with words that have meaning for potential employers. It’s called the “career statement” or “career profile.” Discard the “in search of challenging position where I can use my experience in a progressively responsible position to further my career.” Instead, do your research on the company and figure out how YOUR experience can help them – tell them what you can bring to the table to help that company’s bottom line. Convey to the reader how your qualifications can enhance their company’s goals as well as nail the responsibilities for the open position.
3. Explore additional e-mail address contacts
Of course, you should send it to the email address and person mentioned in the job posting but take it a step further and send a copy to a senior level executive who holds a position of power in that department. Express to that person that you are copying them on your resume because you wanted to be sure they were aware of your interest and hope to meet them in person.
4. Be relevant
Know your audience. Like a good marketer – understand who you are sending your resume to, what’s important to them and focus on what this potential employer needs to know about you to help them see you as a valued employee. Forget about mentioning things totally unrelated to the position responsibilities. That is great that you were voted the most likely to become a star in a toothpaste television commercial by your fraternity brothers, but these things are not what will sell you to a future employer. Try your hardest to zero in on your most applicable skills, talents, achievements and experiences.
5. Get it ready for digital
Tweak your updated resume so that it can be easily uploaded, downloaded, scanned and edited. This means no bullet points, no boldface or odd fonts, no indenting, no zany paragraph formatting. Make it rich with key words and terms that will stick out for a HR executive doing a search on a job resume posting website or reading it in person.
Pro Resume Center, LLC offers world-class career support services, from exceptional resume and materials writing to career coaching and interview coaching. We provide one-on-one consultations with EVERY purchase, connecting you with experienced, seasoned professionals who understand how to strategically position you for job search success. CLICK HERE to learn more.