Five Ways to Rehab Your Resume

resume tipsJust in case you haven't heard it enough: It's tough to get a job these days. So tough, in fact, that it's not unlikely for a job seeker to spend six months or longer looking for a job before actually getting one. Although it's common for today's job search to take a while, there are ways to increase your chances of getting noticed quickly. So, if you're starting to get frustrated with just how long it's taking to find a job, you may want revamp your job search, starting with that all-important document: your resume.

Although most job seekers feel that they've done all they can with their resume -- included great "action" words, checked spelling and grammar, ensured consistent formatting -- there is almost always room for improvement. Chances are, your resume can benefit from one of the following points:

-- Applying for jobs? Find out what they pay.


1. Make sure your objective has an outward focus

If you choose to include an objective on your resume, make sure it addresses the employer's needs. "Don't emphasize what you're looking for in a job, but rather what skills and talents you offer an employer," says Rick Saia, a certified professional resume writer for Pongo Resume.

For example, an objective statement like: "To find a position in public relations that will allow me to further my communications career and develop my skill set," is all about what you want out of your job search. In order to increase your chances of engaging a hiring manager, change your objective to instead reflect what you have to offer, i.e., "To benefit a company through my extensive network of press contacts, 10 years of copywriting experience, and demonstrated ability to successfully pitch stories to the media."


2. List accomplishments, not duties

"Does the resume emphasize what you accomplished in your current or previous job? That's what should stand out; not merely what duties you performed, but what differences you made in your role for your employer," says Saia. "For example, 'served as project manager for replacement of 1,000 desktop computers' is a duty. Saying 'managed replacement of 1,000 desktop computers in half the allotted time' tells the employer you can take on a big job and meet a critical deadline. That's an accomplishment, and it made a difference."

Most duties can be turned into accomplishments through quantifying them or stating how you met or surpassed the goal of the assignment.


3. Don't list out-of-date or irrelevant skills

At your entry-level job, you may have spent a lot of time on administrative work, like filing documents into a comprehensive system of folders and filing cabinets. But that was 10 years ago. Today, companies rarely even keep physical records, so most likely the "administrative skills" you listed on your resume won't be applicable at your next job. If you haven't done something in 10 years, chances are things have changed, and it's best to leave the skill off your resume.

Although entry-level job seekers sometimes include a section of "interests" on their resume, the space-filler has no place on the resume of older workers. Even if you spend every second you're not working thinking about baseball and you've scored the most homeruns in your recreational league, a hiring manager has no real use for -- or interest in -- this information. Anything you list on your resume should have a professional tie-in.


4. Make sure your resume is search engine optimized

Since much of the initial job application process is done online, recruiters often use software programs to scan submitted resumes for important words and job functions. If your resume doesn't include these keywords, there's little chance that your application will ever reach the desk of a hiring manager.

"Right this minute, recruiters and employers are typing keywords in their search engines to find job candidates to fill openings that match your job objective," says Susan Ireland, author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to The Perfect Resume." "So do some research to find 10 or so keywords from job postings and job descriptions that best match your job objective. Then weave those keywords into your resume statements and/or make lists of keywords in special sections on your resume, under headings such as Skills, Relevant Skills, Computer Skills, Technical Skills, or some other heading that makes sense for your occupation."

For example, if your goal is to get a job as an advertising coordinator, you will probably come across the same keywords (i.e. accounts, AdWords, media planning, sales, marketing, tracking, supporting) over and over again in job postings for that kind of position. Figure out how to incorporate these keywords into your resume for the best chance of being found by a recruiter.


5. Bold your best features

According to a recent study from the U.S. Department of Labor, there are 5.4 applicants for every job opening. With stats like that, you can bet potential employers are up to their eyeballs in applications. Make it easy for hiring managers to skim your resume for important qualifications by bolding any skills, honors and experiences that support your candidacy.

The strong text should be saved only for your most important qualifications, though, so limit bold items to no more than five. Also, make sure to keep a "plain-text" resume on hand, in case a job listing calls for an unformatted resume.

Next: Get more resume advice


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zigmoon

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December 03 2013 at 7:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kate17738

My husbandhas been a tax preparer for 42 years. Due to the distance from our home to where his job was, last year, although he had a contract with the CPA form that had purchased his tax practice eight years before to continue to do his clients during tax season until he physically or mentally could NOT do the work, when he had a disagreement with the managing partner, he decided to end the relationship without litigation. But he has kept up with the tax law changes and as we are moving to a new area, he would like to find some tax preparation work again! Do you have any suggestions for him. (BTW, he will be 75 in December but is in good health and would like to stay in 6the business!)

October 28 2011 at 4:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pan

With stats like that, you can bet potential employers are up to their eyeballs in applications. Make it easy for hiring managers to skim your resume for important qualifications by bolding any skills, honors and experiences that support your candidacy.btw,I'm a lawyer,30 ,rich but still single.It's hard to get a girlfriend in my town ,most of them like my money more than like me.I just want to find my true love.so i uploaded my hot photos on millionairesocial .c om under the name of hotlove2.u dont have to be a millionaire,but u can meet one there. ..if you girls see this comment,i hope you will check my photos out there.maybe you are the one whom i'm looking for!!!

August 08 2010 at 2:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pan's comment
melody

I love too get too know you pan i live in north carolina I'm a good woman

August 26 2010 at 3:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shuoma2

The strong text should be saved only for your most important qualifications, though, so limit bold items to no more than five. Also, make sure to keep a "plain-text" resume on hand, in case a job listing calls for an unformatted resume.My boyfriend thinks the same with me. He is eight years older than me, lol. We met online at agelessmate.com a nice and free place for younger women and older men, or older women and younger men, to interact with each other. Maybe you wanna check out or tell your friends.

August 08 2010 at 2:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to shuoma2's comment
Maggie

I have worked at home as an employee for more than 10 years now because I wanted to be home with my children. I make $30K working 4 hrs a day. Currently, I work for a large corporation and I set my own hours. You just have to know where to find these jobs. BestTopJobs has a FREE list of hundreds of real work at home jobs offered by well known companies. These jobs do NOT cost you money. These are employment positions. This is not a scam only help for those looking for work. Everyone really needs to think outside the box when it comes to finding employment. What are you doing right now? You are on the internet. Where do you shop? Where do you book trips? The internet has opened up so many REAL jobs that can be worked from home. Hope this helps!

August 08 2010 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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