The national unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent in May. Employers receive mountains of resumes every day. Here are three tips for catching the emplyer's eye.
The national unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent in May. This means one thing: If you’re applying for an open position, you’ll have plenty of company.
Employers receive mountains of resumes every day.
Kim Isaacs, director of ExecResumes.com and the resume expert for online career board Monster.com since 1999, says job hunters can set themselves apart with resumes that include three essential pieces of information.
Here are Isaacs' three tips for catching the employer's eye.
A clear job target: Too many job hunters fail to mention in their resumes the actual jobs they hope to land, Isaacs said. Such job seekers may think that they’re leaving their options open. But Isaac said that instead, they may be missing out on career opportunities.
“Generic resumes are usually ineffective, as hiring managers quickly skim through resumes to see who is a good fit for the job opening,” Isaacs said. “It is essential to include a clear career goal, either as a headline near the top of the resume or added to a summary section.”
For those job seekers who have more than one possible career direction? They can create multiple versions of their resumes.
“It’s more work, but the documents will be more successful,” Isaacs said.
A qualifications summary: Many resumes detail the long work histories of job applicants. But they fail to provide an introduction that spells out for hiring managers exactly what job hunters offer. A well-written qualifications summary should list the strongest credentials of job seekers and entice the hiring manager to continue reading the resume.
A generic summary, though, won’t do. Job applicants need to write a summary that matches their skills and credentials to the specific openings they are seeking, Isaacs said.
“The key is for the summary to be geared to the employer’s needs, and to present a snapshot of the benefits that the candidate offers,” Isaacs said.
A list of accomplishments: Isaacs sees too many resumes that contain dry descriptions of applicants’ day-to-day work duties. A better approach? Job hunters should include the ways they made a difference in their jobs. If they reduced their employer’s yearly expenses by $5,000, they should list this accomplishment on their resume. If they spearheaded a hiring committee that increased diversity at their workplace, they should list this. Such accomplishments tell hiring managers much more about a potential applicant’s strengths.
“It is essential to include accomplishments – contributions, awards, results and outcomes – so prospective employers readily see the value that the candidate brings to the table,” Isaacs said.