It seems simple enough: you've got your eye on a juicy job that suits you perfectly and you know that you're qualified; all you need to do is convince the people that count. But how?
You need to catch the attention of your prospective boss and find a way to stand out from the other applicants who might be just as well qualified as you are. One of the most effective ways to do this is to write a killer resume.
So, what will make your resume impossible to miss? One rule to remember: don't write your resume the way you'd write a text message to your friends. It sounds like a no-brainer but recently employers have been noticing more and more young graduates doing it (that's right, even uni graduates!) and it makes a really bad impression. You've got to use correct grammar and the right language in a resume, or it's C U L8TR, ok.
All good things come in threes, and resumes are no different. When preparing your killer resume, you need to consider content – is it relevant to the job you're going for? Secondly, your professional achievements are what will make you stand out from all the other, perhaps equally well-qualified, candidates. Last but not least, presentation is key. According to employers, an amazing number of otherwise impressive resumes are badly designed and difficult to read. Keep it simple and readable. A resume is not the place to show off your artistic skills, unless the job in question happens to be in design!
When it comes to content, make sure you tailor your resume to the position that you're interested in. For instance, if you're applying for a job in journalism, you might mention your media and writing experience, but leave out that time you worked at McDonalds in high school! Each time you apply for a new job, you'll need to consider giving your resume a shake-up to make sure that the content is relevant to the position you're after, and that it fulfils any criteria your prospective employer has set.
With your resume suitably tailored, how else can you make it say 'pick me'? If it's that journalism job, 'winning a Walkley' is going to work but 'salesperson of the year' at McDonalds just won't cut it. That said, if you're applying for a sales position then your achievement in exceeding company sales targets by 50 per cent at your last job is perfect. Another example might be the development of computer-based staff training sessions that improved productivity, or the reorganisation and streamlining of data management systems.
Whatever content you choose to include, you should always present it in an attractive, streamlined and clear way. Think about it: no one wants to drink Moët from a vegemite jar, and the same thing can be said of your resume. There's no point listing your fantastic achievements and top-notch skills, only to have the overall look and feel of the document ruin the impression. The last thing you want your resume to say to a prospective employer is 'I don't care'. A well-designed resume is written in a consistent style, is clear, concise and readable, and has correct spelling and grammar. Get someone else to check over your resume for any errors you might have missed.
The most important thing to remember, of course, is to give it your best shot. An employer can tell when you've put in the time and effort to write that killer resume that will knock out the competition and get you through to the interview – but that's another story altogether. So get writing and just remember: UV gotta B in it 2 win it!
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