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Career Corner
Make Your Resume Work for You
Saturday, December 04, 2010

The first step to a successful job hunt is having a strong resume. The second is knowing how to get your resume noticed. Unfortunately, most people often skip the second step and aimlessly send out resumes. Chances are, in today's job market, you're competing with hundreds of other resumes. Some recruiters, who have gotten hundreds of resume emails in one day, might be so overwhelmed that they don't even open up every single resume they get. This is simply because they don't have the time to review every single one. Knowing the right way to distribute your resume can make the difference between getting an interview, and ultimately the job. 
First and foremost, get organized. When you get that call from one of the 150 resumes you sent out, make sure you are ready to show that you know who's calling and what they are calling about. Start by keeping a detailed log that includes the name of the company, the position you're applying for, the dates you contact them, as well as any other notes you might have. It might sound tedious to do this extra task while job hunting but it will pay off when you all the job submissions start to blur together. 
Next, post your resume on multiple job boards. While job boards might not be the most effective way to get a job, they should still be included in your resume hunt. Any recruiters who may be searching for candidates could come by yours and want to contact you. Don't let yourself miss that opportunity. 
Search for positions that meet your criteria. If you don't have a specific job position in mind, you can look up broader descriptions for jobs such as "Market jobs". Sites such as Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com can allow you to find jobs in your area that fit what you are looking for. Don't forget to read industry publications on smaller companies that might not be publicized and has less competition. If possible, try to find the name of a hiring manager with contact information so that you may address him or her directly. 
Create multiple versions of your resumes to tailor the different job positions that you will be applying for. If you're applying for a marketing position, align your resume so that it matches better with the job description. If you are applying for a sales position, highlight any sales performance you might have had with your past experiences. The more aligned your resume is with the job description, the better chance you give yourself.  Don't forget to tailor your cover letter to match the job description as well. Keep in mind that an employer often receives hundreds of resumes so they will only have time to look at your cover letter for 5-10 seconds. Keep it brief and easy to read. Don't just repeat your resume but rather highlight some key points and explain how you meet the criteria of what they're looking for. Make sure to proofread your cover letter because even the smallest mistake can cost you the chance at an interview. 
Finally, follow-up on your job prospects! Ideally, a week is a good amount of time to wait before doing a follow-up. This gives the hiring manager a chance to review your resume as well as continue their job. If you follow-up too early, you might annoy the hiring manger as he or she is busy with other candidates as well as doing their regular job. When you follow-up, be sure to keep it brief and ask if they had a chance to review your resume. Reiterate your interest in the job position and explain why you'd be a great fit for the job. 
By staying on top of your job search and being organized, you can give yourself the best opportunity in getting your resume noticed. This is the best way to ensure that your resume will make it to the top of the pile!

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