This blog was written by Wesley Banks, Employment Resources Consultant at the YMCA of Greater Toronto.
While the labour market has been severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, your job search must go on. You must be resilient, motivated and most of all, be on top of your marketing game!
A job search has many different ingredients that must come together to attain the ultimate goal – EMPLOYMENT. One essential and non-negotiable item you have to deliver to employers is not just a good resume, but an outstanding one. So, let’s explore some ideas on how to get you there.
Resumes are Marketing Tools
A resume needs to convey what you have to offer – you control what you channel to an employer by targeting the content of your resume to match the keywords and attributes the company is seeking. Be sure to review the job description, so you can inject and match the keywords, terminology and skills contained in the posting. You have to do this for each and every posting…it’s a lot of work, but it will help get results.
Learn the differences between the Chronological, Functional, and Combination style of resumes (register for Next Stop Canada to get more details about each one). Each markets and highlights your information differently. You need to select one that will overwhelmingly highlight your strengths, while minimizing or masking your weaknesses.
Detail your points by fully explaining the job’s duties and using numbers when possible. A point that says “Helped customers with questions” is far too general. A point that says “Supported an average of 50 customers per day with general inquiries pertaining to sales, services, and concerns in person, over the phone and online” has depth and detail.
Formatting and Appearance
Consistency is key. Use one font style. If you bold headings, bold all the headings. If you use dates with months and years, do that for all dates. If you deviate between different ways of doing things…it will make the document look untidy.
Perfect Grammar, Perfect Spelling!
Today, going beyond friends for editing support is quick and easy; with spell checkers and other grammar checking software/tools, submitting a well-written, error free document is a must. It speaks to being detail-oriented, professional, and having good writing skills.
There is no one size fits all resume. You should have multiple resumes if you have multiple job goals. When approaching employers, a resume should be aimed at the job you are seeking and reflect the company and industry as closely as possible. Switching the objective on a resume does not mean it’s suitable for a different role; invest the time to have different versions to apply to different positions. It’s unlikely that a resume that highlights customer service experience will resonate strongly with a company looking for an Administrative Assistant.
The job market has never been tougher so invest the time and energy up front in developing the resumes that you’ll need for your jobs of interest. By delivering an exceptional resume, you will put yourself at the top of the pile and increase your odds of drawing an interview.