by Teena Rose
With technology advancement a resume that lacks keywords or key phrases relevant to your career field may hinder your job search. Resume expert Pat Criscito writes “According to U.S. News & World Report more than 1000 unsolicited resumes arrive every week at most Fortune 500 companies and before the days of applicant tracking systems and resume scanning 80 percent were thrown out after a quick review.” Criscito also informs readers “Instead of opening and reading thousands of resumes companies can now scan them and sort them by keywords.”
What do you do if you’re a new graduate with limited experience? You dig deep very deep. Covering all the bases will ensure your resume reflects key information that is relevant to your career. It’s important to focus on the assets you bring to the table and it’s even more important not to forget any career tidbit.
Here’s a checklist with some select experience you may possess but may have forgotten:
- Technologically advanced equipment and tools
- Advanced writing courses
- Computer platforms software
- Volunteer work externship and internship positions
- Research or college projects (e.g. real or simulated marketing plan for a small business)
- Special assignments
- Family business positions
- Leadership positions such as coaching
- Foreign languages
The contents of this list will not apply to everyone of course. To take full advantage of the experiences you possess dissect your entire history.
[Editor’s note: Click here for more about making the most of your college experience and consider using our College Experience Worksheet for Resume Development.]
The following tips point to valuable resources for tracking down all relevant experiences.
First refresh your memory by reviewing a date book or planner in search of seminars or committee participation (among others) that you might have forgotten. You’ll be surprised at those things you did over the last 12 months that slipped your mind. Select only those elements that reflect leadership or other aspects important to your short- and long-term career objectives.
Second access your personnel file at your current employer or personal copy at home. Superiors in addition to evaluating your performance sometimes make small notations as thanks for helping with project deadlines and so on.
Third talk to your friends and family. Ask their thoughts on the types of skills they feel are critical. Make notations concerning your conversations. Cross off those skills that you’ve already considered and research and include those that slipped your mind. Concentrate on those satisfying your current career agenda and list others toward the bottom of your resume.
Incorporating focused keywords and key phrases in your resume will allow for beefier content and enhance your resume’s return. A better return means that it will get more show time and ultimately increase the number of interviews you attend. The only purpose of the resume after all is to produce more interviews. [Editor’s note: See our article Tapping the Power of Keywords to Enhance Your Resume’s Effectiveness and our Resume Keywords Worksheet for more about identifying keywords.]
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college career and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
Teena Rose is a personal branding expert LinkedIn profile author and executive resume writer with Resume to Referral. With an estimated 70 percent of her client base made up of repeat and referral clients it’s no surprise that she’s one of the most highly endorsed resume writers/career coaches on LinkedIn. Professionals use her service because of the bottom-line returns she produces; i.e. more job interviews shorter job-search and higher starting salaries. She’s a valuable expert contributor to Quintessential Careers as well. Teena’s authored several books including Designing a Cover Letter to “Wow” Hiring Personnel (2nd edition); How to Design Write and Compile a Quality Brag Book (2nd edition); and Cracking the Code to Pharmaceutical Sales. You can reach Teena at admin(at)resumetoreferral.com or (937) 325-2149.
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