Finding a job is practically a job itself. From scouring job postings to building a resume and writing a cover letter that stands out, searching for a job can be time-consuming and stressful. And that’s before you even get the chance to interview for a position. We put together a few tips to help you get noticed and get yourself in front of the hiring manager for an interview.
Tailor your resume to fit each application. Different job postings may have similar education requirements, but the position responsibilities will vary. The work experience you list in your resume should be directly related to the responsibilities outlined in the job posting.
Use quantifiable numbers when describing responsibilities and accomplishments. If you developed content and posted it to the company’s social media account, list how many followers or likes the account has and how much it has grown while you’ve managed it. For example you could say you managed the company’s Facebook page. Or you could say you managed the company’s Facebook, and communicated with an audience you grew by 25% over one year to 5,000 followers.
Your resume is the one time you get to shamelessly brag about what you know and what you can do. Don’t limit yourself by listing your skills as an incomplete percentage. If you are skilled in something or knowledgable about a particular software, say so. Don’t tell the hiring manager you’re 65% proficient in InDesign. The scale is arbitrary, and it sounds like you’re not as skilled as you should be.
When writing your resume, focus on your most recent work history and positions that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Paring down your work history will help you keep everything on a single page, as most employers don’t have the time or interest to look beyond the first page. The person reviewing your resume wants to see that you have the skills needed for the open position, not that you worked at Dairy Queen in high school.
The cover letter, which is different than your email introduction, explains who you are and what you can do, using as few sentences as possible. Use it to entice the reader to look at your resume. The cover letter should be a separate document, addressed to an actual person, not ’To Whom It May Concern.’ Use the company’s website or LinkedIn to figure out who the owner or hiring manager is. If that fails, simply call and ask. It’s easy to do and shows that you’re actually interested in the position.
Finally, and possibly most importantly, have your mother, neighbor or even the local librarian read through your resume and cover letter to check for mistakes. It’s easy to miss errors in your own work if you’ve been staring it for hours. If the candidate pool is large, spelling errors are an easy way for the hiring manager to weed out applicants without ever scheduling an interview.
Best of luck as you hunt for a new position, we hope these tips help you get an interview and land your dream job.
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