It is important to create a state of the art resume. The purpose of a resume is not to get a job; it is to obtain an interview, that all-important first step. In that interview, you will be able to give much more detail about your accomplishments, show the great employee that you could be. But first, you have to be chosen to receive that “face time.” As a career coach in Atlanta and online, I see many of my clients lose sleep over their resume. A little background knowledge about how resumes can work to your advantage can be calming.
If you are submitting your resume online (and believe me that is the least effective way to search), you have to gain an understanding of how employers select candidates. Employers use resume screening software in order to sort through the hundreds of candidates that apply online. To be selected you have to develop a list of keywords to place on your resume. They can be verbs or nouns, but they are often very specific. The best way to find out your keywords is to scan job postings for the type of job that you are seeking. It is wise to target each resume to the type of job that you are seeking, which can be usually done through cutting and pasting. You can use websites such as wordle.net where you can past on your job ads, and they will create a “word cloud,” which will show you pictorially the most important words. Keywords for an accounting assistant job could be reconciled (verb) or accounts receivable (noun).
You will also want to decide which type of resume to use. The three main resume styles are functional (skill-based, often good for re-entry employees since it highlights skills more than recent jobs), chronological (lists employer most recent to least recent) and combination. Whatever style you chose, you need to make sure the resume is grammatically correct and proofread, so it will not be immediately rejected.
Remember, be patient and persistent. Remember, to some extent job searching is a “numbers game,” so the more times your high-quality resume is viewed, the greater your chances to be invited to an interview.