Now that we’re in a new year, we want to make sure that you’re armed with best information so that you can land a job ASAP.
Many factors played into your not being able to find a job in 2009. While the economy and the job market had plenty to do with it, there comes a point when you have to look at yourself and what you are (or aren’t) doing and how it’s affecting your job search. Let’s start with the most basic thing you need in your job search: a résumé.
Here’s a little résumé 101 to refresh your job search this year, excerpted from “Career Building: Your Total Handbook for Finding a Job and Making It Work.”
Writing your résumé: Hiring managers spend an average of one minute scanning a résumé. You have just a short window to convince them that you’re either fabulous or the most boring person alive. Which is it gonna be?
Here are the elements that your résumé should include:
Contact information: Your name (if your formal name is Abigail but you go by Abby, use Abby), address, phone number, e-mail address and Web site. And make sure to use a professional e-mail address for your job applications. Employers aren’t likely to call HotPants1234@hotmail.com.
Career summary or objective: This gives the hiring manager an idea of who you are immediately — before spending the 60 seconds skimming your résumé and deciding if he wants to bring you in for an interview. Many job seekers equate a summary with an objective. While both are two to three sentences appearing at the top of your résumé, they are different.
An objective states a job seeker’s desired job description, and is often ideal for people who are just starting out in the work force or changing industries. Some words of warning: It could pigeonhole you and limit how employers see you. If you are looking to take the next step in your chosen field, consider writing a career summary instead.
A career summary gives an overview of your work experience and/or relevant education.
Summary of qualifications: This calls out the most relevant information for the job. If you include this, the hiring manager doesn’t have to hunt for your abilities. This is an easy way to tailor your résumé for each job application. Look at the required skills listed in a job posting and use this as an opportunity to highlight the skills needed for the job. If you are changing careers or industries, this section helps you highlight certain transferable skills.
Technical skills: This is where you can show your computer and software proficiency. Are you missing a technical skill listed in the job description? Don’t throw in the towel. Seventy-eight percent of hiring managers report they are willing to recruit workers who don’t have experience in their particular industry or field and provide training/certifications needed.
Work history: This is where you list chronologically any work experience – titles, employer and dates of tenure. List only the most recent and relevant information; no one cares about your ninth-grade babysitting club … unless you are looking for something in child care (even then, save it for your cover letter).
Education: Include your dates of graduation, college major and minor, degrees earned or expected graduation date.
So there you have it; the very basics you should include on your résumé. Other things to remember to include? Keywords, accomplishments and no errors.
If you need some help writing your résumé, check out CBResume, or if you’d like a free critique of your current résumé, click here.
Questions? Just ask us here. In the meantime, here is some more light résumé reading to check out:
Work history: This is where you list chronologically any work experience – titles, employer and dates of tenure. List only the most recent and relevant information; no one cares about your ninth-grade babysitting club … unless you are looking for something in childcare (even then, save it for your cover letter).