It's great if you know what you're worth and that you deserve a fantastic job. But does your resume reflect that, or do you simply come across as arrogant or having an inflated ego?
Whether you’re looking to change location, change your niche, or move up the career ladder, you need a resume that brings all your best points to the fore while downplaying any gaps or weaknesses. It’s not as hard as it sounds.
Creating an Impact with Your Resume
You already have all the information; all you need to do is present it. Here are a few things to make unmistakably clear in your resume:
Your objectives. This is the uppermost section of the modern resume, and conveys your guiding philosophy of, and commitment to, your career. What do you want? Make it clear.
Your range of hands-on experience, with tangible numbers and specific examples. If you’ve worked with large or well-known clients, helped increased sales, won an award, made a process more efficient, or saved your company money, now’s the time to mention it.
Your awesome team spirit. Recruitment decision-makers aren’t just looking for someone brilliant; they need you to work well with the rest of the staff, smile under pressure, and help find ways to improve care. Use words like “collaboration” and “integrated team” to bring this point home in your resume.
Your personal character and interests. Hiring managers may not care whether or not you knit, but if you have interests, volunteer work, or social skills that will benefit your job, mention them. If you don’t want to be forgotten the moment your resume and cover letter are out of sight, give them enough personality to come across as the work of human hands. A resume summary or profile, or the cover letter, are perfect places for these details.
New to the Field?
If you’re just coming out of college or an internship, take a moment to contemplate exactly how new workers find a job. You’d be surprised how many recent grads are unaware of the way this works. Will you search for a job online? Walk into an office, resume in hand, and ask if they have vacancies?
Joining job search and networking sites is key. Word of mouth is also an excellent way to hear about vacancies that suit you. Many professional jobs are filled without ever being advertised, thanks to the unofficial grapevine; often times, you will hear about a company by reading about other openings, or reading industry news, even though the specific job you want hasn't been listed. It helps if you can get a warm referral for those favorite jobs, so make sure all your contacts know the direction you want your career to take.
If online sites, networking, and word of mouth are not getting you enough results, take a look at local newspaper ads, as well as the classified section of your favorite professional or academic journal. Job search success can be a numbers game. Many professional associations also host recruitment ads for their specific fields in their print newsletters, too.
Job fairs, though crowded, do have recruiters present who just might be able to help you. Some are genuinely helpful; others are interested in their fat commission and little else. Use your judgment and do due diligence before you spend time with recruiters, especially the type who spam you with emails and pages.
Your resume will essentially detail your achievements, whether you're a recent grad or a seasoned professional.
Sophie Lizard is an expert freelance blogger on job searches in the creative and scientific fields, including physician recruiting.