We’ve written before about the topic of the resume in this blog. Below are two such examples:
“10 Changes to Your Resume You May Not Have Thought About”
“3 Ways to Beef Up Your Resume”
As you might have already guessed, we’re going to address the resume in this blog post, as well. Specifically, we’re emphasizing the importance of proofreading it.
There are probably some skeptical readers who are asking themselves, “How important is it . . . really? Am I going to lose out on a job just because of a typo or a grammatical error? Isn’t it more important that I’m able to perform the duties of the job?”
Let’s address those three questions in order:
“How important is it . . . really?”
Your resume is how potential employers see you before they see you. It’s part of your first impression. Your resume often dictates whether or not you have a phone interview, and how well you do during the phone interview dictates whether or not you have a face-to-face interview. So in actuality, your resume is the first step on your journey to finding a new job. That’s how important it is.
“Am I going to lose out on a job just because of a typo or grammatical error?”
You must remember that you’re not competing for a job in a vacuum. There are other candidates who are attempting to land the same job that you are. You might think that nobody has lost an employment opportunity just because of a simple typo, but that’s the case. People have lost out on opportunities because of typos and errors on their resume, and it’s not an isolated incident. When a hiring authority is having a difficult time choosing between two candidates, the hiring authority will invariably choose the candidate who has the better resume—or the one without any errors.
“Isn’t it more important that I’m able to perform the duties of the job?”
True, your ability to perform on the job is important. However, as we mentioned above, you’re not competing for a job in a vacuum. There are other people who can also perform those job duties. What you’re attempting to do is convince the employer that YOU are the better candidate. Let’s take a slightly different angle with the scenario we described above.
Perhaps the hiring authority is having difficulty choosing between two candidates, both of whom possess similar experiences and abilities related to the duties of the position. If the hiring authority believes that one of the candidates has better communication skills and pays more attention to detail, then that candidate has the edge over the other one.
Time Staffing can help you during your job search. We not only provide guidance regarding your search, but we also have an extensive database of available positions.
Make no mistake about it: references are an important part of a person’s job search.
However, some job seekers are of the opinion that references pale in comparison to a list of previous accomplishments or “knocking it out of the park” during a face-to-face interview. That is simply not the case. Attention must be paid to both professional and personal references.
Now, compiling those references can be a time-consuming endeavor if you’re not familiar with the best ways of approaching them. Below are eight tips for compiling and using references wisely during your job search:
1. It’s common practice to list “references available upon request” on your resume. However, you need to make certain that you have a solid list because if you’re being seriously considered for a position, you will be asked to provide it.
2. Initially make the list as large as you can, and then select the top three references. (You’ll also be prepared if a prospective employer asks for more than three references.)
3. In addition to names and titles, your reference list should also include phone numbers (work numbers and cell phone numbers) and email addresses.
4. Start with references from previous employers. The key is to list people to whom you’ve reported, either directly or indirectly.
5. Make sure that your references are people with whom you’ve stayed in touch, and only use references that are willing to take the time to help you.
6. Call each and every one of the people on your final reference list. Get permission to use them as a reference, tell them of your job search, and if you’re already in the interviewing process, tell them for what position you’ve applied and the company with which you’re interviewing.
7. Always wait until you’re asked by a prospective employer for your list of professional references before presenting it.
8. Do not provide a list of personal references along with your professional references unless the prospective employer specifically asks for them.
No matter how much technology advances, no matter how much social media invades nearly every aspect of our lives, the fact of the matter is that “word of mouth” is still the most effective form of promotion. People value the opinion of others, and they want to hear that opinion directly from them.
That’s why your job search is NOT complete without a solid list of professional (and personal) references.
Everybody wants an edge in the job market. That much is for certain. However, how many people have an edge, but don’t use it . . . mainly because they don’t know they have it?
Obviously, when it comes to your resume, there are certain things that it should include. Among these things are educational background and professional achievements.
However, if this is all your resume includes, it probably won’t be enough to set you apart from other job seekers who are looking for a better employment opportunity.
With that in mind, below are five things to put on your resume . . . that you might have forgotten about:
1. Certifications or designations—Do you have a certificate or license in your chosen field? This will lend additional credence to your educational background and professional accomplishments, further illustrating your competency and validating your candidacy.
2. Related experience—This includes anything that might be relevant to what the company is looking for in a potential new employee. Have you traveled extensively? Visited foreign countries? Operated heavy machinery? Be thorough in the analysis of your past.
3. Other areas of talent or competency—Do you speak more than one language? Do you know sign language? Morse Code? How to survive in the wilderness armed with only a knife and a pack of matches? The point is this: don’t dismiss any of your abilities as not being applicable to the situation. A talent is a talent.
4. Stints in the military—If you served, list the branch, the length of your service, your rank, and any special training or medals that you received. If you did serve in the military, that all by itself will help to set you apart from other applicants.
5. Other indicators of success and achievement—Any success that you’ve earned during your life is worth mentioning, even if it doesn’t relate directly to the position for which you’re applying. Did you put yourself through school as a single parent? Did you win a contest or competition? Were you recognized for your prowess or achievement in some other area? Don’t rule anything out.
You should always be looking for ways to set yourself apart from the competition, and you never know what will make you more attractive to a company. You could think something is no big deal, but it might be something in which a hiring official will take a special interest.
So don’t leave anything of value out of your resume. Don’t shortchange yourself. Make sure that your resume contains anything and everything that will convey the value you bring to any open position for which you apply.
Time Staffing Inc.