Let’s face it, looking for and getting the perfect job is just about as difficult as finding and marrying Prince Charming (or Princess Right).
Now, it has been a while since I removed myself from the dating pool (23 years in fact), but I have numerous friends that are on one site or another trying to find that special someone. They have spent many hours writing, rewriting, editing and tweaking their profile. Huge amounts of thought go into what to list for their interests and passions. Many photos are selected and rejected until the perfect one is finally placed. They’ve called in friends to get their opinion on the profile. They have checked it over for spelling and grammar errors, made sure that they don’t come across as a bubblehead or player. Why? So that they can stand out from the other profiles; so that they can attract attention and garner enough interest that a potential mate will take the chance and ask them out for that first date.
If only people spent the same amount of time and energy on their resume as they would a dating profile, then the task of job hunting would be so much easier. Resumes and dating profiles serve the same purpose; they are both basically an advertisement with you being the product. A good resume, like a good profile, will make you stand out from the crowd, keep the person’s attention and cause them to act; act being that they contact you for an interview/first date.
Here’s a reality. When employers are looking at a resume, they give it maybe 30 seconds to catch their attention. It’s like swiping left on dating profiles; nope, nope, oh hell no, ugg, nope and finally “hello there cutie!” If you can’t get their attention, you’re not getting the interview. So how do you ensure that your resume will be successful? Treat it like a dating profile. Don’t just quickly throw it together and hope for the best.
Take your time; your resume and cover letter are going to be the first impression your potential employer has of you. Unless you have letters behind your name like Ph.D., MD, or DVM, keep it to two pages. One page works as well. Any more than that and it goes into the “nope” pile.
Research the position, know what they are looking for, use their terms and jargon. Typos and spelling errors are the kiss of death. One letter is all the difference between “experienced in public relations” and “experienced in pubic relations”. Don’t be that person. Make it easy for the person reading your resume. Use clean and simple fonts such as Calibri, Times New Roman, Ariel or Bookman. Use white paper and black ink (Unless you are applying for a creative position in graphic design or advertising, in which case – express yourself.) Have a friend check your resume and cover letter over for you. Use resources such as www.alis.ab.ca or the skilled staff at McBride Career Group, to review your resume and offer advice. If you find you’re sending out lots of resumes, but just aren’t getting the interview, take a good look at your resume. Why isn’t it doing its job? Consider taking a resume writing workshop or meeting with an MCG Career Coach. (which is a no-cost service.)
It is a tough job market out there. Employers can be very picky about who they interview and ultimately hire. You need to put your best foot forward and have a strong positive first impression, because you may never get a chance to make a second impression.
Happy hunting, may you find your prince charming, dream job.