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Six Things You Must Do Now If You're Looking for a Better Job (continued) . . .


You can't go wrong if you follow these six steps

While researching this article I had an opportunity to hear feedback from many experts including recruiters, HR people and my former colleagues at Bernard Hodes Advertising, an online-recruiting leader. You can't go wrong if you follow the six steps outlined below.

1. Send out a highly targeted resume for each job opportunity

The experts do not all agree on the impact of applicant spam filters, OFCCP and Web 2.0.

But they do agree that sending a highly targeted resume is a good idea no matter what the reason—and it so happens that a job-targeted resume is your best defense against OFCCP and the spam filters.

If you think that creating a hand-tailored, targeted resume involves some extra work—you’re right! But you’ll absolutely boost your chances of getting an interview (see the Resume Makeover section of this site).

2. Include a career summary at the top of your resume

Your resume's first critical element is a keyword-driven career summary.

Make sure you include a paragraph—near the top of your resume—that starts with the exact title that appears in the job spec, for example: "Senior marketing executive with 15 years global experience ...” Use bold formatting for the job title.

The resume experts agree that your summary paragraph is probably more important than any other element. You've got 10-15 seconds to make a favorable impression, so the summary can make or break you.

The resume experts don’t all agree on the actual title of this section—"career summary" or "profile" or “objective" (more on this in a moment). But they DO agree that you should include a paragraph that summarizes your experience and clearly states what you're looking for.

A well written career summary pulls together all the elements of your resume, just like a strong magnet pulls metal shavings into alignment. Most important, it attracts the attention of a hiring manager, who’ll invite you in for an interview.

Two points for your summary paragraph

3. Describe your work experience in terms of accomplishments, not job descriptions

Here's the second critical element that can make-or-break your resume.

The “old style” resume was basically a job description. It listed things you did, but did not say how well you did them. Today's resume—the one that passes the 10-second “trash test"—showcases your accomplishments instead of job descriptions.

Maybe you're thinking "I can't think of any accomplishments." Lots of people say that because they take their contributions for granted (more on that in a moment).

Are You a Liar if You Don't Mention Every Job?

References for This Article