With a national unemployment rate of 10 percent, its no surprise that more than half of Americans pick unemployment as the top economic issue facing the country today, according to a new CNN poll.
Chances are if you havent lost your job during the financial turmoil of the last couple of years, you know someone – likely several someones – who have.
Competing with a lot of people for very few jobs isnt fun, but there are things you can do to help your chances.
Because the first impression potential employers typically have of you is your resum, make sure its in tip-top shape. Here are three ways to help make your qualifications stand out:
1. Use Strong Action Verbs
Time to throw out old standbys like responsible for and in charge of. Theyre passive words that dont do you justice. When listing details about your qualifications, make sure each bullet point leads with a strong action verb, like managed, created, and developed.
Strong action verbs give your qualifications power. They make you a leader rather than a follower. They show significant contribution instead of adequate work.
For a list of action verbs that will give your resum some muscle, check out WriteExpress.
2. Quantify Your Efforts as Much as Possible
Its one thing to say you were a maintenance manager responsible for servicing an apartment complex. Its quite another to say you managed the complete maintenance of 80 apartments, completing an average of 12 work orders a day.
Quantifying the work youve done brings life to your resum. It shows that you have pride in your work and helps a hiring manager better visualize how your contributions can benefit a companys bottom line.
Putting numbers to paper may be harder for some than others. Heres where you might need to get creative. Have your efforts saved a company money? Did you get your work finished faster than your co-workers? Did you improve the performance of a product or service? Do you bring customers in the door? All of these things can and should be quantified to show potential employers what youve done so they can get a feel for what you can do for them.
3. Tailor Your Resum to Each Position
One of the top ways a resum fails is when its not adjusted for the position for which its intended. For example, if youre applying for a customer service position at a software company and the objective on your resum states that youre interested in doing market research for an e-commerce business, your resum falls short.
If you cant take the time to tweak and tailor your resum for the position for which youre applying, why should a hiring manager take the time to find out who you are and what you have to offer?
What should you customize? To start:
-Your objective, if you have one.
-The positions you choose to list on your resum.
-The responsibilities and details of each position.
-Coursework, certifications and licenses.
Your resum should clearly tell a hiring manager why youre right for the position for which youre applying.
Finding a job is hard enough, let alone in an economy in which you may be competing with several hundred applicants for a single position. But if you take a look at all the ways in which you present yourself when applying for a job, including your resum, youll find that the inches are everywhere.
On the job hunt? Dont let your credit hurt your job prospects. Many companies are now doing a credit check on potential employees. So before you apply, make sure you check your credit situation at Quizzle.com, the only site that gives you both a free credit report and free credit score, no catches, no trial subscriptions, no credit card required.
Ann-Marie Murphy is the Community Builder forQuizzle.com, an online service that provides free and easy ways to manage your home, money, and credit — all in one spot. She pairs her experiences in financial services with her writing skills to help consumers better manage their personal finances.
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