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Presenting Your Best Self
A remarkable resume, refined networking skills and a stellar social media footprint can make you stand out.
Job seekers today must always think in terms of putting their best foot forward, both online and offline. From the moment your cover letter catches the eye of a hiring manager and your resume crosses his or her desk, you, as a job candidate, are under scrutiny.
Presenting your best self is crucial in today’s job hunt. It starts with a succinct, tailored message in your cover letter designed to showcase how your talents match with a job’s requirements. Your resume should carry the same tailored message, underscoring your accomplishments and what you can bring to the position and the company.
You should also take care to nurture connections that may open doors now and in the future. This means honing both your in-person and online networking skills. It also means monitoring and creating a social media presence that attract employers.
With that in mind, this year’s Annual Career-Planning Guide centers on crafting a notable resume, polishing networking skills and shaping your social media footprint to make significant impact on employers and help you land the job you want.
A First-Rate Resume Opens the Door to the Job Interview
Are you considering a move, promotion or new opportunity? If so, then you’ll need a new or updated resume to move forward.
While there are many tips and ideas for writing your resume, here are the top five tips that will help you get started with this process.
1. Get Organized. Keep a folder, hard copy or electronic copy with all of your past job information. If possible, maintain those job descriptions, and make a list of previous employers and job titles, dates of employment, and achievements. Then copy your college transcripts so you have the official name of your school, degree and any major or minor.
2. Decide on Either a Chronological or Functional Format. A chronological resume is the most common and allows you to list your employment from most recent to oldest, showing the specific order of your past positions. This is perfect when you don’t have any periods without work, have remained in the same employment sector, and don’t have a lot of job changes. A functional resume shows your achievements and abilities with little emphasis on the dates. Functional resumes are appropriate when you have changed jobs often, don’t have a great deal of experience, or if you are seeking a career move to an entirely different field.
3. Lose The Objective. If you haven’t worked on your resume for many years, then you may still have an objective on the top of your resume. Let’s face it: if you are sending a resume for a potential job opportunity, your objective is simply to get an interview and then get a new job. Because the objective is self-explanatory, it’s important to use this space for a career summary and something more meaningful than a useless statement. Construct a three- to five-line overview of your career experiences, skill set and core competencies.
4. Be Concise. Because employers may receive hundreds of resumes for one potential position, you need to catch their attention immediately. There’s no effective way to list everything you’ve done. Choose what’s most important, use phrases instead of full sentences, and implement bullet points to emphasize achievements. When you feel as if you may be repeating yourself, use a thesaurus and think of new ways to phrase tasks and responsibilities.
5. Be Consistent. Use single spacing throughout each job description and double space between jobs and headings. Choose a simple font that’s easy to read and use the same font throughout the document. The same is true for bullet points. If you use round bullet points in the core competencies section, then use round bullet points in all of the sections.
When you’re working on this document, don’t be afraid to tell others of your success and accomplishments. Take the time to work on your resume and have a trusted friend read it and provide input. Sometimes it takes a second set of eyes to identify areas for improvement.
Finally, be sure you follow the directions for the application process and research potential employers to ensure you’re tailoring the information to their needs. Remember your resume is your chance to be you, so make your information shine!
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