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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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      3

        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

        4

          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

            6

              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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                Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

                How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

                Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

                You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

                Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

                “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

                It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

                Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

                As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

                As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

                Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

                Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

                1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

                When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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                Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

                2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

                Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

                But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

                If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

                Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

                3. Go to All Office Networking Events

                Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

                If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

                Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

                Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

                The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

                Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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                4. Show Initiative

                Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

                Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

                Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

                5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

                Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

                Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

                6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

                A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

                Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

                Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

                A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

                Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

                Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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                These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

                Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

                7. Find a Mentor

                With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

                Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

                Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

                Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

                8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

                After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

                What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

                Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

                Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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                You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

                9. Set Your Professional Bar High

                Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

                Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

                Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

                Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

                The Bottom Line

                Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

                “Half of life is showing up.”

                The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

                Remember, your career is your business!

                More About Continuous Growth

                Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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