By Chika Uwazie
VENTURES AFRICA - A resume is an essential item you need on hand in order to apply for any position. As simple as this may sound, I have seen countless resumes that do not have what I am looking for or are lacking important components that I end up declining. I am sure there has been a time you have sent your resume everywhere and cannot understand why you are not getting a call back. Maybe you get an interview, and then the hiring manager tells you, well your qualifications are not right for this job. Typically people are missing key items that can help their resume stand out from other competitors.
These 5 steps will help you create a stronger resume that will put you on a path to getting your dream job:
1. Place Keywords in Your Resume
Never, I mean never, send the same resume twice. As much of a pain in a butt it can be to redo each resume for each position you apply to, the results will be drastically different than sending the same one. HR managers are smart and they can figure out when they are receiving a generic resume. Learn to put in keywords in your resume that can be linked back to the position you are applying to. Here is an extra tip, to take it one-step further use word cloud generator to conduct a word analysis among your resume and the description of the job. You can use a word cloud generator like woordle and create a word cloud for your resume and the job description. If a lot of the big words on your resume do not match the big words on the job description this means the two do not align indicating to a recruiting you would not be a strong candidate for the job they are trying to fill.
2. Add Extracurricular Activities
At the end of the resume add interesting facts or extracurricular activities that you do outside of your profession. It can be as simple as running your own successful blog, to volunteering a non-profit. Employers want to see that you are actually human and enjoy seeing that fun touch on your resume. Remember not to go overboard with how many activities you list but one to three is sufficient enough.
3. Do Not Use Passive Words
Use power words on your resume. If you are using the word like “assisted” or “helped” on your resume then you need to evaluate the type of language you are conveying on your resume. Employers want to hire potential leaders they do not want to hire someone that cannot bring their own confidence to the table. If you are not sure what are good power words go here for a list of the top ones.
4. Put in Relevant Coursework
If you are a fresh graduate or an entry level job seeker list down relevant coursework and associations that are connected with the job you are applying to. A lot of people graduate with a totally different major than the job they are applying for and sometimes that can be confusing for a recruiter. A way to help recruiters know that you are ready for the job requirements write down a few courses that are applicable to the job you are applying for. This can also help when you have no other experience in that field but the classes you too.
5. Proofread Your Resume
You would think that people would make sure their resumes are grammatically correct, but I always see errors on people’s resumes. Once a recruiter sees an error, he or she concludes that the applicant is not serious about getting the job. If you cannot even make sure your sentences make sense, why should an employer take you seriously? Do not just trust Microsoft word or your word processor. Read your resume aloud and check if everything sounds right. Send out your resume to a few friends and ask them what they think. This is a small step, but is a big difference between your resume and others. Do not get your resume thrown in the trash because you misspelled a few words.
What has been your experience with your resume? Share your comment below!