August 5, 2010

How to Give Your Resume a Boost

With so many people out of work, it’s getting harder and harder to even get an interview, let along get a job offer. One of the main problems for young adults is that even though they’re the most educated, hard-working, enthusiastic applicant for a job, their resume isn’t as filled or well-rounded as someone who is older, even if that applicant isn’t as good of a fit for the hiring company. You can write “I’m Awesome!” on your resume with a magic marker, but employers don’t just want claims of awesomeness – they want proof. So how can you boost your resume when you can’t land a job in the first place?

  • Take some more classes.

You don’t have to enter a degree program, but taking some more classes at a local college can help prove that you have the skills to do a job. You can even take classes online or participate in community classes that aren’t associated with a college. Anything you do to raise your skill level and fill out your resume is a plus.

  • Volunteer.

No matter what industry interests you, you can find volunteer work that will look good on your resume. If you’re interested in construction, join Habitat for Humanity. If you want to get into graphic design, offer to do some free website or logo work for a local charity. If you’re interested in politics, find an overseas volunteer position to learn more about international relations. Even though you aren’t getting paid, an employer will still consider volunteer work as valuable work experience.

  • Give examples.

You can say on your resume that you’re a great leader or a trustworthy employee, but specific examples carry more clout. Don’t tell me that you’re a great leader; tell me that you were the president of one of your college clubs or activities. Don’t tell me that you’re a trustworthy employee; tell me that you were in charge of the cash register at the end of the night during your summer job at McDonald’s. Examples can really beef up a resume, while listing your characteristics falls a bit flat.

  • Really shine with your cover letter.

Employers may discount a short resume until they read your cover letter. This is where you can really let your personality shine through. Think of your cover letter as a sales pitch. Be unique and passionate, and talk not just about your resume’s content, but about what you can do for the company if hired. Even if your resume is uninspiring, you can be offered and interview if you have a great cover letter.

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