Improving Your ResumeWritten by Scott Brown
You may have considered going to a resume writer to get your resume revamped. Resume writers are great and most of them produce resumes that are better than what average job seeker can produce on their own. Resume writers are often writing experts and can eliminate presentation problems like grammar, writing style, and spelling errors. A good resume writer will also have copywriting skills, meaning that they know how to present information in a way that's compelling and exciting. However, it's important to keep in mind that not all resume writers know what a potential employer in your particular field is looking for. Especially if your field is highly specialized. If you're going to use a resume writer, consider looking for some of these traits:
- Experience either working in your field or helping a considerable number of people in your field with their resumes - Experience working as a recruiter - Experience working as a manager who made hiring decisions
It would be difficult to find someone who had all three of these traits. But point here is to be conscious about what advice you're taking from a resume writer. If person doesn't have experience as a recruiter or hiring manager, and isn't familiar with what employers look for in your field, it can still be beneficial to use their expertise on grammar, writing style, spelling and copywriting. The most common flaws in resumes are grammatical and spelling errors. Even without using a resume writer, you can use Grammar and Spell-check features in Microsoft Word to improve those aspects.
Perhaps most effective source of advice for improving your resume would come from active hiring managers themselves. If you're going on interviews and getting calls from recruiters but you're not getting hired, consider asking manager at end of interview if he/she would give you an honest assessment of your resume. Many managers pride themselves on being knowledgeable and would be happy to give you some advice. If you get sense in interview that person is not planning to hire you, objective in asking for feedback is to find out why (i.e. if they perceive you're lacking some skills or other qualifications, your presentation at interview, etc.).
Researching the Job MarketWritten by Scott Brown
In our last job searching tip, I discussed ways of improving your resume. In that article, I pointed out how networking with other people can help you improve your resume. Once of best sources of advice on improving your resume is from managers who are actually hiring people like you in your field. If you can network your way to meetings with these people, it can be beneficial not just for job leads but also for getting general advice about your career direction.
If you've ever been in a position of hiring employees for a company, you know that you don't look at just skill set of job candidate. You also look at other factors such as their personality - whether it will mesh with corporate culture, and their familiarity with your industry and your business in particular. Hiring managers also look at how interested someone is in their company. A candidate who really wants to work for their company will often be considered more favorably than someone else.
Before going in to an interview with a company, do some research to find out things like: 1. Who company's customers are 2. What seems to be hardest part about attracting and retaining their customers 3. Who their competitors are 4. Why customers use them instead of competitors 5. Why employees work for them instead of competitors
If you know answers to those questions before sitting down with any representatives at company, you will be far more prepared than average job seeker. You will be armed with information that will likely make interviewer want to hire you instead of other candidates. Your knowledge and curiosity about these issues will cause you to come across as someone who's ambitious and a team player. Most interviewers want to hire candidates who are excited about company, industry and special aspects about corporate culture that make it appealing to certain kinds of people.