The job market has become fiercely competitive with many people vying for the same position. With student loans mounting, and a shortness of jobs in many fields of study, finding a way to set yourself apart from others who are graduating is imperative to finding the position that you desire. There is no doubt that grades are important on a resume, but for most companies hiring, grades will not be a determinant factor on who they take on professionally. If you have just graduated with a degree, getting someone to give you a chance, without any experience, may be somewhat of a hardship. Finding a way to make yourself attractive can make the difference between your resume being being put to the bottom of the pile, or being set aside to contact.
A resume is a piece of paper that describes your knowledge, but unfortunately, unless you really work at it, it says nothing about who you are. There was a time when the job market was booming and the only thing that you had to consider was what type of paper to print it on, in today’s market, finding a way to present yourself in your resume, and outside of it is more important than what the resume actually says. If you are simply handing someone your resume and asking for them to give you a chance, fat luck, it will most likely find its way to the circular file cabinet.
What types of things can drag you down on your resume and what can you do to stand out?
- Spelling, grammatical, or syntax errors – your resume, if it does get read, is all that you have to represent who you are, and what you are capable of. If you don’t take the time to proofread it, or to make sure that it is perfect, it says that you don’t have an eye for detail, that you are lazy, and that you don’t care about appearances. For business owners that is the first indication that you are not the right person for the position. Not only should you read it over many times, have someone you trust read it over for you. Sometimes you need a fresh eye to see mistakes that are made.
- A cover letter is not a thing of the past – in the new digital age, many people send their resume electronically either through business sites, or email. The mistake that many make is sending it without a cover letter. With so many applicants, many looking for a job think that a cover letter is a waste of time, or something which is no longer required. That is not the case. Many hiring companies admit that a missing cover letter is a sure fire way to get yourself to the end of the pile. A cover letter is personal communication that you have with a potential employer. It is the place where you can be earnest, and creative. If the resume is a list of your credentials, the cover letter is a display of your personality. When applying for a position most of the applicants are going to look the same on their paper resume, a cover letter is where you can be you.
- Don’t just send your resume and think that it is over – it is okay to be persistent. In fact, it is important to be persistent. Don’t think that sending your resume is enough. You want to contact them until you receive a reply and only then are you sure that they have heard you, seen your resume and are considering you. Follow up your resume with an email, or a knock on the door. Putting the extra time into contacting a potential employer will say that you are serious and not just handing out your resume to everyone you can. An employer likes to feel as if there is a reason why you want to work for them specifically. It is okay to stroke their ego, let them know that you admire what they are doing and above all that you want to obtain a position with them because you have faith in the company not just because you have the desire for a paycheck.