And Other Job Hunting Tips From the Pros
As the saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That’s especially true when you submit your resume for a job. After all, be it on paper or online, resume is your one and only shot at scoring an interview.
Two of our recruiter’s share their inside tips for getting your resume noticed.
- Check and double-check your contact information. “It sounds straight forward, but we get resumes with wrong or disconnected phone numbers and wrong email addresses all the time,” says Recruiter Lisa Thorson.
- Get another set of eyes. Proof, proof and proof some more. Typos will put your resume on the fast track to the bottom of the stack.
- Use key words. Know the buzz words that will get your talents and skills recognized and use them in your resume. Many companies use software that searches for specific key words to sift through applicants.
- Customize your resume. Make sure it showcases your strengths as they relate to what the company is looking for. In other words, create multiple versions, if needed.
- Highlight your successes. Use statistics whenever you can. For example, if you improved your company’s turnover rate by 10%, say it. “In the interview, be prepared to discuss what steps you took to achieve these goals and/or metrics,” advises Recruiter Michelle Shortle.
- Keep it short. A resume longer than two pages is too long.
- List academic details. Include all degrees and certifications. “If you have a college degree, you don’t need to include your high school education,” Lisa says.
- Don’t skimp on the details. If you list only jobs and employment dates, chances are your resume will end up in the circular file.
- Pass on the personal details. No pictures of kids, dogs or spouses, please. And leave off your age, too.
- Stay silent on salary. Don’t include your salary unless the company specifically requests it.
- Keep it positive. Focus on your strengths, not why you were let go from your previous job.
Cover Letters, Too
- Check it twice. If you address your cover letter to a specific person or company, make sure you change the contact name and company information every time you submit it to a different company. “We can’t tell you how many times people have tailored their cover letter and then forgot to change the name of the hospital. If it’s your dream to work at Children’s Mercy, we’re going to wonder why you applied to North Kansas City Hospital,” Michelle says.
- Keep it relevant. Include a cover letter that briefly explains why you are applying to the company or for a particular position. If you live in another city, it helps to explain you are planning a move to the area. “Sometimes, our directors have questions about whether the person is really willing to relocate. It’s helpful to know if the person is already planning a move,” Lisa says.
- Be objective. Use your cover letter to go into detail about your objective in applying for a particular position. Use the extra space on your resume to showcase even more of your qualifications.
Tips for Applying Online
- Finish the job. If the company asks you to submit both an application and a resume, resist the temptation to type “See resume” on the application. Complete the entire document.
- Play it safe. Save and upload your resume as PDF to ensure it loads correctly in the company’s software system. If you format your resume with different layouts or margins, something might get lost in translation.
- Check it twice. If you upload the document to auto fill the application, remember to proofread the entire application before clicking “Submit.” “Proof your application one last time to avoid errors such as having your name appear as ‘First Name Kansas City Last Name,’ which happens more often than you might think,” Lisa shares.
Happy job hunting!