Stand Out From the Rest

It is very important for you to stand out when applying for jobs, especially right out of college.

The main component that employers are looking for is experience! Your resume is one of the most essential tools in your path to obtaining a job. You will need an exceptional resume, which can make the difference between being rejected or getting to round two.

There are a lot of sites that offer valuable information about how to build an outstanding resume. Resume-now.com provides you with a step-by-step way of creating your resume. It’s free and provides one-click designs, multiple formats, and cover letters. In addition to this valuable tool, be sure to check your resume against these seven vitally important resume tips provided by Assessment.com: The 2014 Ultimate Career Guide.

Check Formatting, Spelling, and/or Grammatical Errors

  1. Since you have about seven seconds to impress someone with your resume, you’ll want to make sure your key information is easy to read and free of spelling errors or other grammatical mistakes. Regardless of the industry you’re in or the job you’re applying for, a resume that has even one grammatical error can make you seem sloppy or lazy and could cost you the job.
  2. First, run your resume through a spell check, but double-check it yourself in case you accidently accepted an incorrect word. You could even have a grammatically gifted friend edit it. Read your sentences and statements out loud to make sure they make sense.
  3. Use bullet points to list your previous jobs and accomplishments. No potential employer wants to read a paragraph about how it felt to work at Big Bowl. Employers prefer to receive information in short, to the point, easy-to-remember nuggets.

Focus, Focus, Focus

  1. Your resume must be as focused as possible. It should be tailored not only to your particular skill-set, but also to the job in questions. Don’t list every single position you’ve ever held, such as positions that aren’t relevant and that you held over 10 years ago. Know what the company is looking for (you did your research, right?), and put careful thought into stating how you fill that need.
  2. If you need help figuring out where your particular skills lie, refer back to your MAPP test results to help you identify your strengths and qualifications, and you can even use some of the language in your resume.

List Accomplishments, Not Tasks

When you talk about your job, tell your prospective employer what you do and what you’re responsible for. You could even tell them what you accomplished in your role, e.g. “Sales rose 5 percent under my management.” This gives your potential employer evidence of your value to their company – and the possible value you could bring to them.

Formatting is Critical (and Make It Web-Friendly)

  1. Is your resume nicely formatted in a Word document? Test it to make sure it looks nice (and doesn’t have awkward page breaks) when it’s opened.
  2. Keywords are also critical to getting your resume and profile found online. What are the critical keywords associated with your job, so someone who’s looking for someone with your skills will find you?
  3. Inserting keywords into your resume isn’t that difficult. Use the Google Keyword Tool and put in the words you think best describe your position; you’ll get a list of the most popular search terms. Use the keywords you think best fit what you did, as well as those that best describe the job and career you are going for.

Address the Specific Qualities They're Looking For

  1. Every job description includes a list of details describing the ideal candidate. Prepare yourself ahead of time, both in your resume and for your interview, to address every one of those characteristics.
  2. For example, if they specifically mention wanting a candidate who works well under deadline pressure, give examples of how you had to quickly turn around projects for a previous employer under short deadlines.

Do Not Use the Same Resume for Every Job

  1. Every job and every company are different. Even the same position at a different location may require slightly different skills and experience, depending on the team in place, the needs of the company, future plans, etc.
  2. Sending out the same resume to 50 different companies isn’t good practice. It’s lazy and will likely be unproductive. Your resume and cover letter (also mandatory, by the way) should be tailored and focused on the specific company and the unique qualities needed for the job you’re applying for.

Follow Up and Send Thank You Notes

  1. The advice your mom gave you about writing thank-you notes for gifts also holds true in the workforce: a brief, genuine, handwritten thank-you note does wonders.
  2. Thank your interviewer for taking the time to meet with you and remember to include your contact information so they can easily follow-up. Sending an e-mail is great, but in these days of digital communications, a thank-you card is guaranteed to make you stand out from the pack.

Cover Letters

Cover letters are very important and if you are wondering whether you need to write a cover letter, the answer is yes! Please do not confuse a cover letter with a cover page; they are not the same! A cover letter is your chance to explain why you are a great fit for the job. Again, there are many great resources and sample cover letters. I suggest you go to Resume-now.com, one of many online resources.