This week, the LiveCareer team decided to reach out to some of the most important people in our professional network: job seekers. Or in this case, former job seekers. Specifically, former job seekers who not only found a position and left the job market, but who love their current jobs and consider their job search a smashing success (no matter how long, grueling or painful it may have been while underway.)
We asked our happy former job seekers to share some of their best resume advice, some of the tools and tips that contributed to their recent slam dunk and might, in turn, help others find the offers they’re looking for. Here’s what they told us.
“Don’t over-explain! If in doubt, keep it short. I don’t think hiring managers ever really complain that resumes are too short. But when a resume is too long, nobody wants to read it, and nobody remembers the details even when they do. Keep everything concise. If they need more information, they can ask you for it by phone or email.”
“Don’t be afraid of your mistakes. And definitely don’t try to hide them or lie about them. Your mistakes are your greatest learning experiences, and they also make great stories. And managers love candidates who can explain their credentials and describe their experience in the form of a story. Tell your real story in your cover letter, and if you’re asked about your mistakes during the interview, don’t say “I’m a perfectionist and I’ve never made a mistake.” Instead, just be honest. Talk about a stupid thing you’ve done and how your error helped you grow.”
“My current employers got excited about my resume and called me in for an interview that same day. On the phone, they told me that my resume was fine, but what really got their attention was my cover letter. They said I broke every rule by being humble and straightforward about my skills. The HR manager actually said: “We’re tired of cover letters and resumes that are just endless boasting. Yours sounded human and honest and we’d like to talk to you further.”
“I’m not sure what made my resume work so well, but I’ll tell you this: I submitted almost a hundred resumes and got nowhere. Then I sat down and decided to rewrite my entire summary. Nothing else—just the summary. I deleted the entire paragraph and started over. Within two weeks I had lined up three interviews.”
A strong, effective resume isn’t easy to create…but your efforts will pay off in the end. Visit LiveCareer for tools and templates that can help you reach your goals.