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Posts Tagged ‘cover letter’

We’re all quite special (or at least we tell ourselves we are), and we want employers to know. The tough part about that is we’re all different, and yet we have to use the same tools to convey our unique personalities to employers. The other day Bree told us what she’s doing to get noticed in a sea of applicants. Now it’s Natalie’s turn to offer up her method:

cbnatalieI’ve been told that a hiring manager will only look at your résumé for 30 seconds before putting it into the “yes” or “no” pile.  I’ve also been told that a hiring manager only looks at your résumé for 10 seconds before making a decision.

Either way, that’s not a lot of time to make an impression.

To help my résumé stand out, I’ve gotten it critiqued by as many people as possible. This list includes my old boss, both of my sisters, three different ladies at three different career centers on campus and my boyfriend. They each offered a slightly different opinion that together helped shape the most recent form of my résumé.

I think one of the most important things I learned was how to write effective bullet points. I was told that it’s more than what your tasks are at work, it’s how those tasks affected the company.

Example: Bullet A represents an impressive task that you may have put on your résumé, while bullet B shows how this bullet point can not only be impressive but it can stand out from the others —

A) Tutored middle school students in reading for two hours daily

B) Tutored middle school students in reading for two hours daily, increasing their average reading level by more than two grade levels

In addition to stating what you task was, you’re also saying why this task was important. This shows that you’re effective at your job and making a difference.

My résumé is constantly changing. I like to stay involved on campus to show that I’m well-rounded and versatile. My résumé is easy to follow,  (hopefully) doesn’t contain grammar mistakes, reflects how my actions made a positive impact for my companies and highlights a wide variety of involvement.

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Searching for a job can be hard work. There are many factors to think about and consider as you launch your job search. Experience and education are two critical aspects that every employer will look at.

But those same companies will also analyze you in more subtle ways. How do you interact with people? Do  your clothes and grooming project a professional appearance?

Potential employers will definitely be looking at your communication skills. They will analyze your face-to-face communication skills in an interview. And with the tremendous focus on interview skills, many people overlook the importance of written communication. 

How you express yourself in writing can be an important clue to companies about your job skills and your abilities. And companies may be even more likely to scrutinize those kinds of clues when your resume is long on learning, but short on experience.

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