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How Your Resume Can Help Get Your Dream Job

How Your Resume Can Help Get Your Dream Job

Crafting a professional, readable resume is absolutely key in today’s world. Especially when you’re looking to land a job that’s a step closer to your dream, crafting an effective resume can be the difference between success and disappointment. Learning how to perfect your resume today is an investment in tomorrow. You can make sure that you have the upper hand when striving for your dream job by communicating your skills and experience effectively.

Choose the Format That Works for You

When it comes to resumes, there are several different things you want to consider. The first should be whether or not your format works for you. You need to effectively communicate your excellent experience and skills, especially when you’re jostling for a position at your dream job. First, make sure you choose a format that complements your experience. For example, those with large gaps in their work history look best when using a functional resume instead of a chronological resume. By listing your work experience first and glazing over the dates, you get a more complete view of your experience, instead of emphasizing gaps in your employment to a prospective employer. 

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Stick to What’s Relevant

Many applicants include “objective” or “about me” lines, but employers no longer care for this information. It can be easy to make this mistake if you haven’t been job hunting for a few years. Now, employers simply want to know what you are going to bring to their company. With this in mind, skip personal information, while making sure your prior work experience is described in a way that shows off your relevant skills. Avoid listing personal details, unrelated hobbies, or irrelevant awards.

Be Truthful

It’s also unbelievably important that you are truthful on your resume, even when you’re switching careers or shooting for a higher position. It might seem easy to get away with lying or over-exaggerating your experience, but most employers are smarter than you think. For example, by simply searching online for the phone number’s area code you provide with each reference, your employer immediately has an idea of whether or not your referees could work where you say they do.

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Cite Facts, Not Opinions

Another way for your resume to pack a punch is to cite hard facts instead of opinions. Older resume formats usually included a spot to list your other skills, but avoid listing character traits, as these are in the eye of the beholder. Instead, state real results. For example, improvement in store ranking after you came on board, bringing a project in under budget by 10%, or other specific numbers. By listing your experience this way, you focus on results employers want to see, instead of opinions that your prospective new employer might not agree with.

Use a Readable Design

Another way to make your resume accessible is to use a readable design. It’s fine to format your resume in an original way if you are applying to graphic design or art-involved jobs, but the average resume is most effective on blank paper with dark type. Try to avoid cutesy graphics, overly ornate fonts, or colored paper.

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Use Direct Job Titles

Another crucial way to keep your resume accessible is to use direct job titles. If you list your job experience with names that are impossible to understand, a prospective employer may not realize the skills you bring to the table. To avoid being glazed over for a job you qualify for, list your experience with titles most people recognize.

Use a Professional Email Address

Another key way to keep your resume successful and eye-catching is to use a professional email address. You will want to include at least a phone number and an email address on your resume, so make sure your email address says the right things about you. The best way to ensure your email address is professional is to make one that just includes your name.

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Triple Check Spelling and Grammar

Finally, though it seems like a small mistake, spelling or grammar errors immediately tell future employers that you don’t care about details. To be the most valuable employee in the pile of resumes, you want to do everything right. This includes triple checking that your grammar and spelling are correct. Especially because many jobs require solid communication skills, either with customers or clients, your prospective boss is looking for someone who can communicate credibly and properly.

Keeping your resume to these guidelines will have you well on your way to landing your dream job. But what about grabbing a hiring manager’s attention with your cover letter? When you have your flawless resume set up, check out our tips on crafting the perfect cover letter here to truly perfect your application.

Featured photo credit: Flazingo Photos via flickr.com

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Alicia Prince

A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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