We’ve talked about how the resume can help you to tilt the odds in your favor when you’re applying for a job, and now we’re going to talk about the basic ways that you can do this. There are a few commonly accepted practices for building your resume, but none of these are all that important. Your goal is to standout and get the job of your dreams, and if you keep doing the things that you’ve always done, nothing is going to change for you. This means that you need to start by making some changes.
Change for a Reason
The first thing you should do is to look at your end goal. Maybe it’s working in a specific field or working with a certain company. Whatever it is, you should keep that in mind as you go about building your resume. First, start with what you have. These are the professional experiences, educational background, and other things that you have done or accomplished. How do these help you to get that dream job? Write them down on your resume, and in your description area, gives examples of how these things point toward the fact that you are ready for that end goal.
Next, think of little things that you can add to your resume that will help as supporting facts. Maybe you can show your love of helping people by volunteering to work at a homeless shelter once a week. Things like this show potential employers that you are passionate and dedicated to what you do. If you have that drive outside of work, you’re likely to have it at work, too.
As you change your resume around, you should be telling a story, with one chapter building upon the previous one. Your goal is that your prospective employer will look at your resume and see that their company could be the likely next chapter for you.
You shouldn’t have just one copy of your resume that you hand out to every place you apply at. Your resume should change, even if very slightly, for each place you apply at. Each company is a little different, after all, and using a cookie cutter approach to applying isn’t going to get you the perfect job. If you study the places where you are applying and make tiny changes to your resume that will make it more suitable to each place you apply, you are more likely to stand out from the crowd. You are putting effort into a specific opportunity, not just looking for opportunity in general. As you do this, you are also showing a hiring manager that you are sincerely interested in working for them. Many job applicants are just going through the motions, and it shows. When you take the time and effort to stand out, it shows that you’re not one of those people.
The same concept can apply to the interview. If you have customized your interview approach to a specific company, you can answer questions more intelligently, and you can ask great questions of your own. Almost every interviewer always asks the same question at the end of the interview: do you have any questions for me? This is a great chance to show that, yes, you do have questions. Ask them specific questions, maybe about how they keep ahead of certain competitors in the industry, or how they evaluate employee performances, or what a dream employee does on a daily basis. These questions show that you are not thinking about yourself, but rather the good of the company. No company is going to hire you because it will benefit you, but rather because you will benefit them.