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7 Tips On Writing Your First Résumé Which Will Get You Hired

7 Tips On Writing Your First Résumé Which Will Get You Hired

Fresh college graduates often face a conundrum when the time comes to land their first job. Most companies prefer to hire people that have some experience. New graduates don’t get jobs because they have no experience, so they can’t receive the experience they need to qualify for the job!

It isn’t always like that, of course, otherwise there would be thousands of unemployed new graduates and experienced employees hopping from one job to the other. However, as a fresh graduate, you have to stand out from the competition to get a foot through the door. You need to highlight your qualifications and skills in such a way that you secure that crucial first interview.

The only way you can normally do that is to have a kick-ass résumé. Here are some tips from the experts that can help you get hired.

Keep it short and simple (KISS)

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    In a Forbes interview with recruitment agency Babich & Associates President and Unbeatable Résumés author Tony Beshara, he advises keeping content short and simple as the most important feature of an unbeatable résumé. “It has to be simple. No more than two pages. The average résumé gets read in 10 seconds. Be sure the content is on a level any high school senior could understand.” He also advises to avoid fancy fonts, templates, and fluff such as objectives and summaries.

    Form matters

    2

      Resumesplanet top résumé writer, Josh Waite, states that form matters. “Make sure that your résumé is free from grammatical and typographical errors. You would be surprised at how quickly it can go south for you even if you have the most impressive qualifications, if you can’t spell.” With so many résumés making it through the door, HR professionals will use any excuse to thin out the pile quickly. Bad form on a résumé or cover letter is one of the quickest, as it reflects on the professionalism of the applicant.

      Highlight your accomplishments

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        Hiring professionals quickly sum up a candidate’s fit for the job based on their personal accomplishments. Make a point of highlighting yours by giving it a prominent place in your résumé. If you worked an internship in the same field, make sure you put that in as the first line in the “Professional skills” section.

        Columbia Business School career advisor Janet Raiffa says, “It’s your résumé, and it should focus on what you did rather than what your team or organization did. Don’t lie or inflate your accomplishments when you’re writing your résumé, but don’t be modest either.” She adds, “It doesn’t need to be unique in terms of formatting, or funny, or overly creative. You want to stand out based on academic or professional achievement.”

        Have a professional email address

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          One of the first things a recruiter will see on your résumé is your contact information, and the most important one is your email address. If you want to come off as the next great hire, avoid using childish email addresses like sweetumstweetums@yahoo.com or beerpongking@live.com. It might have amused your classmates, but it does not make a good impression on a potential employer.

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          Give details

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            While it is important to be concise, your résumé should still have all the relevant information that a recruiter might need to know about you. When putting in your skills or qualifications, be specific. Point University Center for Calling and Career coordinator Melissa Roberts advises against using vague words such as “talented” and “hardworking,” because these do not impart any actual information to the reader regarding the abilities of the applicant. Other words to avoid are “involved in” and “assisted.” If you are a member of the debate team, mention if you won any awards. If you had a summer job at McDonald’s, mention if you were ever an employee of the month. Accomplishments denote excellence, dedication, commitment, and/or diligence, qualities that recruiters look for in new graduates.

            Customize it

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              Chances are, you will be applying for different positions in different companies. Even if the positions are related, i.e. marketing assistant vs. market researcher, you can tweak your résumé so that it is precisely for the particular position. You also have to consider the mission and vision of the company. If the company puts a premium on environmental protection, for example, highlight any volunteer work you did that relate to that. Cut out any information that is not relevant to the position or the company.

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              Come on strong

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                Because hiring professionals only spend a few seconds reading a résumé on the first pass, it is important to catch their attention in the first few lines. Have a strong opening line to set the tone for the reader. Include the position for which you are applying, and why you are the best candidate for it. It shows consideration for the reader, who may be filtering applicants for several positions, and demonstrates confidence in your ability to be up to the task.

                It is important to remember that your résumé is the only thing the hiring professional knows about you. You can be the most charming, persuasive, and proactive person in the world, but you will not have a chance to demonstrate the many excellent qualities you have if your do not pay close attention to creating your résumé. In many cases, recruiters will only see you when you come for the first interview, and that will never happen if your résumé sucks. These seven tips from experts can help you craft a résumé that can get you hired.

                Featured photo credit: Octavio Fossatti/Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                Published on October 8, 2019

                How to Advance Your Career (and the Big Mistakes You May be Making)

                How to Advance Your Career (and the Big Mistakes You May be Making)

                The late writer William S. Burroughs once said that “When you stop growing, you start dying.” It might have a morbid undertone, but it’s one hundred percent true in terms of one’s career.

                The days of finding a job with one company that you can stick with for 30 years, and simply relax as you move up its company escalator are few and far between in today’s world. This isn’t necessarily bad news. On the contrary, it means that you’re the one in charge of shaping your career advancement.

                By putting these principles and behaviors into practice, you’ll begin to see how to advance your career quickly. Ready? Let’s get started…

                1. Define What Success Is for You

                There’s no right or wrong definition of what success in your career looks like. The important thing is to figure out what success looks like for YOU. It might, and probably will, change along the way, but if you don’t have some sort of milestone on the horizon, then you won’t know which direction to go in.

                Think about success in your career in terms of one year, five years, and 10 years. Once you have that, it’s time to lace up your boots and get to work.

                2. Learn How to Develop and Follow a Plan

                Nobody just stumbles upon success accidentally. Sure, they may stumble upon breakthroughs or new methods accidentally, but all success stories have one thing in common — a plan.

                Establish a timeline for the things that you want to achieve in your career in the next year, five years, 10 years, and so on. Consider the skills that you’ll need to learn to make these things happen and work on acquiring them.

                3. Surround Yourself With Those Better Than You

                It’s a rule of thumb among musicians that if you want to get better, then you need to get out of the bedroom and play with people who are better than you.

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                By surrounding yourself with people who are better than you and where you want to be, you’ll not only see how these people climbed to where they are in their respective fields, but you’ll learn from them and naturally want to push yourself to be better in your own job as well.

                4. Seek Out a Mentor(s)

                A mentor will not only be able to help you refine and reach your career goals, but will be invaluable in landing promotions and finding unadvertised job openings.

                One unique approach is to work on fostering a relationship with a mentor both within and outside of your company. This will help in giving you different perspectives as you rise up through the ranks in your company and career overall.

                5. Stop Wasting Your Mornings

                You may not think you’re a morning person, but if you can learn to be one, you’ll thank yourself 10 years down the road.

                Prepare a to-do list of tasks that you want to accomplish the day before and work on knocking them out for at least one hour before you respond to morning emails. The problem with responding to emails first, is you’re giving your attention to somebody else’s agenda, instead of plotting your own course for the day.

                6. Arrange or Attend a Networking Party

                If you’re attending networking events simply because you might get a few free drinks, you’re doing them wrong. These events are great for meeting new people and forming relationships. Your goal shouldn’t be to get hired by the end of the night, but to simply make a good impression by being friendly and authentic. So what’s next?

                Reach out a few days later via email or on social media to follow up and connect!

                7. Pick Up Some New Skills

                Nobody wants to be the old dog that can’t learn any new tricks. To move up in your career, you’re going to likely need to pick up new skills along the way. Maybe your company offers on-the-job training or you have the option of taking online classes at night.

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                By learning new skills, you’ll not only be able to expand upon what you can already do, but you’ll make yourself more valuable to your employer and future employers.

                8. Exploit the Benefits Already at Your Disposal

                Remember what we just said about the possibility of your company providing on-the-job training? Take advantage of these sorts of benefits!

                If you’re working for a company that allows you to job shadow other employees or has company mixers, you should attend these. They not only allow you to develop your skills within the company, but show seasoned executives within your field that you’re interested in more than just clocking in for a paycheck.

                9. Make Yourself Indispensable

                Good help is hard to find and employers want to retain outstanding employees. If you can learn to make yourself indispensable to your company, you’ll not only communicate that you’re successful, but will have a lot more job security. What’s this entail though?

                It’s actually not all that difficult. By being reliable, adapting to new challenges, and holding your own work and performance to a high standard, you’ll stand out among your peers and others will take notice. Easy enough, right?

                10. Get Off the Fence

                People who advance in their careers are those who don’t shy away from voicing their opinion and stand up with authority when the opportunity arises.

                If a problem arises in your company and you think you might have a solution or are willing to work to find one, then let others know. Employers value and promote problem solvers. Start off with something small and work your way up towards tackling more difficult tasks and projects.

                11. Don’t Wait for More Responsibility, Ask for It

                If you want more responsibility in your job, then be open about it with your manager. Your manager may be so busy with their own work that they weren’t aware you were looking for more challenges.

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                Just make sure you can handle it and that you already show strong performance in your current duties. And if your manager doesn’t seem supportive about offering you more responsibility, well, then it could be time to look for new employment.

                12. Stop Wasting Time on What You Don’t Want

                If your career goals start with “I should do this…” there could be a problem. This kind of language in referring to goals can doom them to failure because the want isn’t there.

                Consider using the RUMBA method (Reasonable, Understandable, Measurable, Behavioral and Agreed) when setting your goals. That “agreed” part should really be “want.” By going after career goals that you actually want to accomplish, you’re much more likely to achieve them.

                13. Seek Out Feedback and Apply It

                Simply doing your job might not always push you up in your career advancement. Too often, employees just assume that their bosses will notice their performance strides and reach out when the time is right to advance.

                Don’t be afraid to regularly seek out feedback and ask for constructive criticism. It not only shows that you value your manager’s opinion but demonstrates that you care about your job and want to become better in your chosen field.

                14. Pick Your Bosses Wisely

                Advancing in your career can move a lot quicker if you’re working for the right people. If your boss isn’t any good at their job or doesn’t value you, then moving up could become difficult.

                A great boss though, will be able to help you capitalize on your strengths and be an advocate for your success. If there aren’t any strong developers of talent in your management chain already, then look around for some and seek them out as mentors.

                15. Learn to Develop Your Sense of Timing

                The odds of asking for a promotion or raise are in your favor with over 70 percent of respondents to a survey from PayScale reporting some success. One thing to keep in mind that can make all the difference is when you ask.

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                Some corporate cultures may prefer that employees reach out about advancement during their annual review, but maybe you work for a more free-spirited startup. The best approach may be to take note of when others advance and ask about how the organization handles employee development.

                16. Work Hard and Promote Yourself

                Working hard and delivering a solid job performance are the keys to advancing in your career no matter what field you’re in. This doesn’t mean you need to be completely humble about your accomplishments either.

                Keep a record of your positive impact within the organization and let others both within your company and your field know that you’re enthusiastic about your role and work.

                17. Don’t Just Build Your Network… Cultivate It

                It’s way too easy to add new people to your LinkedIn network and then forget about them for all eternity. Rather than just collecting business cards or social media contacts, you should be cultivating relationships with the ones you already have.

                Follow up with people that you haven’t spoken to in a while, offer to connect them with somebody you know in their field, or ask about a new job title they may have taken on. Doing so could be the spark that leads to a potential job referral.

                18. Join a Professional Organization

                The National Association of (insert your industry here) and other professional organizations can still offer a great wealth of advantages from networking to industry insights, and skill development.

                Even outside of professional organizations dedicated to particular job fields, civic organizations can also be fantastic for making new contacts. After all, so much about career advancement is who you know, and you never know who you’ll meet who knows somebody else who is looking for someone with your skills and experience.

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