7.02.2013

You only get one shot.

I love the old game show, The Dating Game, where one person has to pick their potential suitor by only hearing their answers to questions. They couldn't see who they were going on a date with until after they picked them! 

What if you could only read a one page note about a person before determining if you wanted to date them?

Well, that is your resume. It is the one page summary about your skills, abilities and education, that an employer uses to determine if you get to go on a date interview with them.

I am assuming if you are looking for a job (and found some using my previous tips),  and that you know the basics of how to put together your resume. Therefore the information below will help bring your resume and application, to the next level and I used these to help me secure my marketing job.

1. Appeal /// If you truly are one of a kind, why would you ever use a template? Gather general ideas from multiple sources but ultimately make yours unique. How are you going to stand out using Times New Roman or Ariel? You simply are not! Download a free font from somewhere like dafont and use something unique. However, if you download a font to use always export as a PDF that way the font won't change on someone else's computer.

2. Highlight /// Bold, underline and italics can be your best friend or the annoying person who nobody wants to be around. Think very carefully about what you want to highlight and what areas you want the reader to direct their eyes to first, just like a well thought out advertisement.

3. Relevance /// The fact that you researched the Chinese-British 18th century conflict and wrote a 21-page paper on the topic, is not the bullet point that you should put when applying to a job as an assistant. However, you do have some good information in that nugget, which is that you have strong research and writing abilities which is relevant. Make sure that all of the items on your resume are important and have merit to the job that you are trying to obtain.

4. Personal Touch /// If you ever have the opportunity to write a personal note, cover letter or given a space to explain why you want the job it is vital that you do it! And like your resume, each of these additional items needs to be personalize to the position and even to the person. Doing a little research on the company before you apply is super helpful, and one of the reasons why is because you can find out who is doing the hiring. On LinkedIn jobs, you can see who posted the job, so it is important to customize your letter to them. 

5. Next Steps /// One of the downfalls of any good sales person, and the job seeker is not following back up. It is important to state in your cover letter or email that you will be following back up to see if they have received all of the materials and to answer any questions. Then, you have to call them back!!! When you call back two things will happen, one you will know more about where they are in the hiring process and two your resume will move to the top of the stack because they pulled it up to see who you were when you called.

Speaking of the next steps, the next part of the journey requires a suit and some hard questions, the interviewing process!

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