Recent Graduates and Today’s Job Search – Part 2

How to create a compelling marketing tool (resume) that will attract the attention of a potential employer.

So often, recent graduates complain that they have “sent out hundreds of resumes” and have not received a response.  While they are quick to blame the job-market, albeit a difficult one, they often do not consider the fact that something may be wrong with the materials that they are sending.

Ninety-nine percent of the recent college graduate resumes that come across my desk look like a template. In other words, that student has created a generically formatted resume that looks just like the other hundreds of resumes that will be sitting in a pile, on someone’s desk. So, how does a candidate get their resume to land on the top of the pile? It is definitely NOT by creating a template design with a laundry list of bulleted tasks.

The first thing I remind my clients, is that even though they may be the most experienced and the best fit for a particular opportunity, they will lose that opportunity if they are not marketing themselves effectively.  A resume is a marketing tool and, in the current market, you’ve only got about 6 seconds to make your strongest case. On the first glance, it’s “save it” or “throw it in the wastebasket.”

A few tips for getting your resume noticed and creating a “sudden” impact:

1.      START WITH A CLEAR HEADER AND STRONG PROFILE. Immediately, your resume must show who you are, and what value you offer a potential employer. (NO objectives!  Employers DO NOT CARE that you “want to work for a good company with opportunity for advancement…”) Employers want to know what you can do for them. Your header provides focus and direction, and your profile gives an overview of why you are unique and why the reader should keep reading.

2.      VALUABLE CONTENT. Provide results-oriented and powerful content. Job descriptions are not the same as achievements.  Accomplishments need details in order to have an impact. You need to showcase what you have achieved.  It’s an indicator to a potential employer of what you can achieve for them.

3.      DESIGN AND FORMAT. Formatting and design can help to get your document noticed. The first visual impression often determines if the document will be read at all. Good formatting makes it easier for your reader to navigate through the document. It is important to make sure that your resume looks different from the stack.

More tips coming soon!