How do I make sure that my Resume gets noticed?
Any obvious discrepancies in your information, spelling or grammatical errors or worst of all, a lack of contact details will get your resume trashed by feisty employers. Their side of the story: if you can't be bothered to present yourself properly, are you really going to be able to deliver work that's of a good standard?
Whatever you do, never mention gripes about previous employers in your resume, the personnel officer will hear warning bells even if it wasn't your fault!
If you have changed jobs fairly often, do include 'reason for leaving' and try to give this a positive spin. 'Contract ended' is great if it's true, but if you resigned, you have to make it look like a big positive step in your career: 'Wished to further my skills in Marketing' looks a lot better than 'Personal'.
Neat, concise and professional presentation is essential. Remember that the person who is screening your resume has a pile of them on their desk. They want to be able to tell at a glance if you might fit the bill.
Rule Two: Pitch at a specific employer
Prospective employers want to know that you really are motivated to work for their company. A good covering letter that demonstrates an understanding of that specific company and the post you wish to occupy there is a definite bonus!
Re-craft your resume to highlight the skills that you believe will be most useful in your prospective post. Consider what sort of candidate your prospective employer is looking for, and how your past experience and current skill set could fulfil those needs. For example, if the post you are applying for is in supervisory management, how have you applied this skill in the past? You may not have been a supervisor by job title, but perhaps you had to manage people in one way or another in order to fulfil your tasks.
Remember: the company you are applying at wants to know how you will help them!
Rule 3: Make it easy to read
This is simply a matter of wording and formatting. Keep wording concise and use headings, bullet points and lots of white space. For example, you could say: 'supervision (5 admin staff)'. You could also say 'I successfully supervised five staff members performing general office administration including filing, report generation and data capture'. Example one will get read, example two won't!
Avoid fancy fonts and needless 'frills'. This is a functional document!
Rule four: Summarise!
It's a great idea to include a summary of your career and skills acquired before listing work experience. The recruiter wants to get the essence of your resume from the word 'go'. If you make them work in order to see if you might stand a chance, sir or madam recruiter is quite likely to give up before they get to the gist of the matter.
Rule five: Take note of what the advertisement said!
Every job advertisement will say something about the sort of person who is being sought. See if you can reflect this back to the recruiter, either in your covering letter, or in the CV itself. So they want someone who is 'sales driven', how does this fit you? Use the words if you can and give quantifiable examples if at all possible. Attention to the specific requirements of the employer is bound to get more attention than a generic application!
Last, but not least: Follow up enthusiastically!
I have more than once recommended that a post be offered to a candidate simply because they were 'the keenest'. I get a CV, I yawn, but the candidate phones me and keeps phoning me no matter how I try and fob him or her off. Eventually, I call them in for an interview, simply because the other candidates have waited for me to get in touch rather than vise versa! By the way, if you really are applying for your dream job, it's good to get acquainted over the phone with the recruiter. I once landed a job by phoning back every three months or so. 'Hi! It's me again! How're you doing?' and then: 'Might you have any posts open at the moment?'.
Happy hunting, and may you land your dream job with the aid of an effective resume!
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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )