Let's face it, the job market right now is tough. News of an improving economy and better employment numbers do little to quell the fear of not finding a job when it's you sitting there without a steady income. However, there are several things you can do to increase your marketability, and revisiting your resume is up there among the most important.
A good - or bad - resume speaks volumes about a job candidate. Depending on what jobs you have held in the past, your education level and time spent unemployed, a resume should serve as the all-encompassing portfolio of You that shows you're qualified and ready, no matter what tribulations you've experienced during your search.
Below are a few resume tips that should help your job search.
Education, qualifications and skills
To start, according to BET National News, make sure your education level stands out from the rest of the document. Employers will undoubtedly look to see if you have a college degree, a postgraduate degree or any specialized certifications, making it imperative for you to highlight when and where you attended school and what you studied that has helped you become the perfect candidate. Any achievements that you were awarded during your time as a student should absolutely be thrown in, as these can further set you apart from other applicants and help you stick in a hiring manager's mind.
Another crucial part of building a powerful resume is to bolster yourself and tout any and all experiences that prove you would be a strong, influential member of a workplace. Even if you are new to job searching, and have little or no work experience to show for, you could try listing the "experience" section as the "qualifications" section instead.
"If you include a 'Qualifications' section, focus on past volunteer work or work you’ve done for friends or family over the years," according to OppsPlace, an online networking resource. "As a simple example, if you are trying to get a job as a Certified Nurse’s Assistant (CNA), your training may have included helping to care for an elder in your family. That experience will relate directly to the job."
Whether it's labeled "experience" or "qualifications," this section is also an opportunity to use strong action words like "managed," "led," "organized" and "participated in," according to the news source.
Below this section, be sure your skills are easily seen and communicated well. If you have any skills you feel are more unique than others - say, speaking multiple languages, strong track record of public speaking, etc. - put these down first. Once you've established the traits that make you YOU, be sure to list your skills at the computer, as these are a must for just about every job out there. And if you don't have any computer skills, it would be worthwhile to take a crash course in even the most basic programs like Microsoft Word and Excel so that you can say, with confidence, you have the necessary computer skills.
Proofread again and again
It may sound trivial, but don't be one of those people whose resume is tossed aside because of an unfortunate spelling, grammatical or formatting mistake. According to Great Resumes Fast, some of the most common grammar mistakes that will send your resume to the wastebasket include confusing contractions and possessive pronouns, homophones (think "two" and "too"), inappropriately using apostrophes, confusing tenses and subject-verb discrepancies.
You've put in a lot of time and effort into your job search, so be sure to put an equal emphasis on your resume, which is, after all, the succinct overview of you, and all an employer has to go on.