Writing An Effective Resume Makes All The Difference!
Throughout our early educational careers, we learned so much stuff from math, to geography, to science. What we weren’t really taught (in many cases at least), was how to do some things necessary in adulthood. Writing an effective resume for a job application is one of those “missing skills” that is crucial to landing your dream career. In reality, it is actually pretty simple and easy to write a professional and effective resume. All you need to do is just follow a few steps:
Many employers today use technology to help them sort through the stacks of resumes that they receive daily. The programs they use , sort out resumes that don’t have enough keywords associated with the job posting. For example, if a company needs a chef, but the resume that comes in is centered around truck driving. The machine eliminates that one resume not applicable. By researching the keywords associated with the job posting you are applying to, you can tailor your resume around them. Often times, the keywords and phrases that employers are looking for, are generally listed in the sections for can be found under the “qualifications”, or “responsibilities” sections.
As you gather what the company is looking for via keywords, you can tailor your resume to reflect that. Add the proven skills and abilities that you have. Make sure those skills and abilities are the ones the company you are applying for needs. As you describe your skills, make sure to be specific in your anecdote. Describe the situation, what you did to resolve it, and how you came to that decision. Also, make sure to use good adjectives and adverbs to enhance your resume! For example: “I was responsible for the prompt greeting of customers in a professional manner.” This is much better than “I was a greeter”.
Showcase Your Skills
As you build your resume, make sure your skills and relevant experience are displayed prominently. Employers are looking for people who have specific skills related to their job offer. By having yours at the front and center essentially, you are showing your potential employer that you are experienced, or at least ready to learn. This also allows employers to get a quick view of if you potentially could be a good fit or not for their company. You will want to list the related skills and experience you have as well. This is because you might possess a soft skill that the company is looking for.
Make sure to include your resume objective in the top of your page. This short section of about one or two sentences, is intended to give a quick summary of your relevant skills. Being able to put your skills and achievements into context for employers to be able to see at a glance, what you are capable of.
“I am a highly motivated, recent college graduate interested in the fashion industry, seeking a full time position in retail sales. I have 3 years of retail experience buying and selling products at an upscale fashion boutique.”
This would be an acceptable resume objective because it is short and to the point. It covers some relevant skills, and it states clearly what the applicant is looking for. In this case, he or she wants to work as a full time, fashion retailer.
This section is where you will list both your soft skills, and your hard skills. Soft skills are the types of skills that pertain to human interaction. Having communication skills, patience, organization, teamwork, and tact are just a few simple examples of soft skills. Often times, employers hold soft skills in very high regard, because they can grow and nurture other skills. If you have a hunger for learning as a soft skill, then you probably find it easy to learn new hard skills, which in turn makes you more valuable to an employer.
- Communication skills
- Listening skills
- Motivation skills
Hard skills are technical skills that directly affect your job. If you are a computer specialist, you likely possess hard skills pertaining to computers and tech. Having the ability to write code, or type quickly, are both examples of hard skills that are relevant to working with computers. Hard skills can be taught on the job in most cases, and you will gain them as you gain experience. Nobody ever got good at anything without doing it. Make sure you list the skills that are relevant to the position you are applying for in this section as it will show employers your level of proficiency.
The education section of your resume is very important. Often times, recent grads don’t have the amount of experience in a field that most employers are looking for. This is where the education section of your resume shines. Be sure to list your major, your gpa (if it is relevant), and your academic achievements. If you were honor roll in your engineering classes with a 4.0, lots of academic awards, and enjoy robotics in your free time, say so. The extra activities you do can help you gain hard skills and soft skills related to your field, and you should describe how each has helped you.
Your cover letter should be a narrative about what you can do for your potential employer. Elaborate on your experiences and skills that apply to the job that you are targeting. This section should not be focused on you or your skills, but rather what you can bring to the table, and what the employer sees value in. Do not write a whole book for your cover letter, but 275-400 words should suffice.