Follow these simple steps to together a great resume for your job search
If you’re close to completing a career training program at a school like the Harris Casel Institute, the next step will be to land your first job. To get your prospective employer’s attention, you’ll need a compelling resume. You want to create a document that will stand out from the rest of the pool of job applicants and secure you an interview.
To help you gather the information you need for your job search, here are 6 tips that will get you started:
1. Use a professional-sounding email address
Refrain from using your “cute” school or college email, if the name is unprofessional. Emails such as “email@example.com” don’t convey professionalism. You can create a new email with a simple name, or you might include elements of the type of job you’re seeking, such as “Margaretfirstname.lastname@example.org.”
2. Emphasize your skills
Even if you don’t have a lot of work experience to build on in your resume, don’t despair. Emphasize your skills and list relevant experience—in any environment—that make you suited for the job. Look through the job description for a list of skills the firm is seeking, and don’t leave out any of those skills you have. Experience that is relevant includes:
- professional skills you may have developed at school
- experience gained in part-time work or internships
- practical experience acquired as a volunteer
- experience and skills developed through work in your community
- examples of entrepreneurial skills (any companies you’ve founded or initiatives you’ve launched)
3. Use keywords that give your resume database visibility
Often, before a hiring manager has a chance to read through your resume, a computer will already have done a search for basic relevance to the position. Thoroughly read through the job posting to make sure your resume contains the specific keywords for phrases and skills that the job posting cites.
4. Check your spelling and dates
It sounds simple, but make sure you get the correct dates and correct spelling for every course, school, and place of work you list on your resume.
5. Include an effective cover letter
To accompany your resume, you’ll want to create an engaging cover letter that addresses precisely why you are the right candidate for the job. See these suggestions on how to write a winning cover letter.
6. Gather References
You don’t generally need to list references on your resume, but make sure you have a separate document ready to send to an employer upon their request. Collect names of people who know you well and can speak to your personality and work ethic. Make sure you spell their names correctly and that all the contact information you provide is accurate.
Creating a strong resume is one of the final steps you must take before launching your new career. Once you have a basic draft of your resume, you can make small changes to tailor it for each job posting, so that you reflect the specific needs of each hiring manager. Ask a friend, instructor, or trusted colleague to review any drafts that you create. Before you know it, you'll be on your way to job interviews! Good luck!
This post is part of the weekly blog of the Harris Casel Institute. We are dedicated to helping all our students strive for their professional goals. Find out more about our career training programs or reach out to us for more information.