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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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Last Updated on June 25, 2019

How to Ace an Interview: 10 Tips from a Professional Career Advisor

How to Ace an Interview: 10 Tips from a Professional Career Advisor

Wondering how to ace an interview? In this article, you will learn everything you need to nail your dream job — from resume submission to the end of the interview cycle.

In order to land a job interview, you must start with submitting a great resume. Submitting resumes is generally done by, “apply now”, the way many apply for consideration to a job requisition. Even if not applying the tradition way, let’s say, emailing someone in your network about an opportunity- you will still need a great resume.

So first thing first, work on your resume.

Today in the United States, 98% of organizations use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to extract information from an applicant’s resume to build a digital applicant profile that can be searched, filtered, and/or ranked.[1] So, a resume that is ATS friendly is part one for landing and acing a job interview.

To do this, a resume must have certain formatting and keywords to get the resume through the scan and into the hands of a recruiter. Without a resume that works with and for today’s technology and requirements, an interview can be difficult to land.

Here’s a great DIY Resume Guide (Do it Yourself Resume Guide) to help you craft an ATS and Recruiter friendly resume:[2]

There used to be a time where a job application was enough, today, an ATS friendly resume leads all methods in landing a job interview.

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Now, let’s talk about acing that interview.

A job interview is part 2 of the job application process. An interview is where applicants that have met the minimum requirements are selected to discuss the job opportunity with the employer or hiring manager.

Interviews are generally conducted via telephone, in person, and or applications/technology such as Skype. When the interview is landed, these 10 tips will help you ace the job interview:

1. Going for a Job Opportunity That Speaks to Your Passion

Having a passion for the job/ industry is extremely important. Doing something that aligns with inner passion is important for quality of life.

People that have passion for the job that they are interviewing for generally have better interview experiences. When we talk about what we love, it is seen in our faces, our body language, and heard in our tone. Here’re 10 Reasons Why Following Your Passion Is More Important Than Money.

In short, consideration of talents, discovering the things that make you happy and sad, and what you love losing yourself in.

2. Study the Job Description: Essential Job Functions and Qualification Requirements

Doing this will allow you the opportunity to develop examples of past and present experience that relate to the essential job functions and required qualifications.

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Examples of experience is always a plus for interviewers, painting a full picture goes a long way. Even when not asked for an example, it is always a plus to tie answers to interview questions to examples from your experience.

If there is a portfolio (work samples: images, writing samples, published work, videos, awards, etc.) of work- that’s even better!

3. Research the Company and the Interviewer(s)

Being an employee means entering into a relationship with an employer. In many areas of life, research is done prior to committing; researching a company prior to an interview is no different.

It is important to determine if the company is a good fit and therefore makes it easier to answer “why do you want to work here?” It helps better verbalize how past experience, skills, and values align with the company’s mission, and it shows the interviewer that you are interested in more than just a job.

4. Think Positive and Tap into Confidence

Positivity exudes confidence and both are necessary, so the employers knows that trust can be given.

Thoughts lead to action, therefore, operating from a positive perspective will reveal confidence. The goal of the interview is to land the job offer; employers need to believe that you believe in yourself so that they can believe you. Here are a few tips for positive thinking.

5. Have Copies of the Resume Used to Apply for the Job

It’s always good to be ready for extra interviewers in the room; many interviews today are panel interviews/ multi-person interviews.

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Though a resume was likely submitted with the application, it is always a good idea to come with extra copies in anticipation of the potential need. If there was no resume submission, it is crucial that you provide a copy during the interview; doing this shows the employer preparedness and resolution to challenges.

6. Plan for Behavior Based Interview Questions

Most companies use pre-selected questions, often times having a list of behavior-based questions. Usually these questions start with: “provide an example of”, “tell me about a time when”, and/or “describe a time/situation when”.

Having examples of problems solved and strategies used, initiatives led, contributions to teams and departments, will help ace a job interview. Painting a picture to help employers see skills, qualifications, and experience is extremely important during a job interview.

7. Make a List of Selling Points

It’s important to be proactive about the selling points that you want to make in an interview. This is where a portfolio works great! It is a great idea to make a list of selling points that reaffirms and demonstrates skills, qualifications, and experience.

Consider: awards, programs/ processes launched that led to cost savings and/or profitability, training/education, etc.

8. Showcase a Mixture of Personality and Professionalism

Companies like to make sure that interviewees are a good match for the company culture. Having a good balance of personality and professionalism during a job interview is key.

Personality can be shown when discussing hobbies, community service or extracurricular activities in answers to behavior-based questions, when describing your passion, and when discussing selling points.

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9. Have Your Questions Ready- Interviewing Isn’t One-Sided

Interviews are two-sided, like all relationships (an employee and employer agreement is a type of relationship). Before entering in many relationships, we all have a set of questions that we need answers to, prior to making the decision to commit.

Beyond doing this for self (because asking questions helps reduce doubt and uncertainty), it also shows the employer that there is interest in the company and its future and, shows that you are informed.

Here are a few considerations: “Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?”, “Why is this position open?”, and “What qualifications/ skills are important to succeed in this role?” You can also take a look at this guide for more idea: 7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

10. Follow-up with a Thank You Note

Interviewers love gratitude. Sending a “thank you for taking the time to discuss the job opening with me”, is very important to acing an interview.

Interviewers discuss one job opening with many applicants. A thank you note can serve as gratitude and the final chance to showcase selling points. This is also the opportunity to address any concerns that the interviewer may have had in the interview.

Summing It up

Consider a job interview a house. the foundation for acing a job interview is passion. The frame is a resume that lands the interview. The plumbing and electrical are showing up with confidence, providing a list of selling points, having examples of your experience and qualifications, and engaging the interviewer. The roof is showing gratitude with a thank you note.

More Tips About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Nik MacMillan via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Jobscan: What is an Applicant Tracking System?
[2] Veronica Castillo: New Job- DIY Resume

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