The New Resume

Standing Out in A Crowd —Tips on Getting Noticed

So what's new or different about today's resume? In some ways, a lot. In other ways, not so much. Employers still want resumes that are clear, accurate, concise, and relevant to the job you are applying for. Lisa Santamarina, PHR, Human Resources Administrator for the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) offers her own personal advice to share with job seekers. She says,

"In my opinion a clearly stated objective at the beginning of the resume makes it stand out because the objective assists me with understanding if the applicant's needs/goals match those of the open position.

The first thing that catches my eye when I see a resume is the formatting. If the graphics and fonts are too fancy, it makes it difficult to quickly screen the applicant's qualifications. I also look for typos and grammatical errors upon the first review and will reject qualified candidates because their resumes contain these inexcusable flaws. A great resume gets you to the next step in the recruitment process and that is an interview."

Lisa also shares what she thinks are five of the most important strategies to use during the job hunting process.

  1. Use your personal and social networks to tell everyone you know you are looking for a job.
  2. Do research to learn as much as you can about the companies you are interested in before interviewing.
  3. Customize your cover letter and resume to fit each job you apply for.
  4. Ask questions during an interview. This should be a two-way street so this is your chance to interview the company while they are interviewing you.
  5. Send a follow up thank you note to everyone you meet during the interview process. Not only is this polite and shows appreciation for the interviewer's time, it's a nice, subtle way of reminding them of what a good choice you would be for the company.

As you can see from Lisa's input these are well received concepts for getting noticed that have lasting value for employers. These are some things that have not changed much over the years. What has changed, however, are the tools used to create today's resumes.

Instead of having you print and mail your application and resume in the traditional manner, many employers are now set up to let you upload or copy and paste an existing resume into their system. Doing this will enable you to search for jobs and easily submit your application or resume when you locate suitable jobs. It also gets your information to them much quicker.

(Reminder: As mentioned in some of the other articles, by registering with AFB CareerConnect you have free access to an accessible resume builder and other interactive job search tools.)

If possible, resumes should be kept to one page as should a thoughtfully written cover letter. The cover letter will introduce you to the employer and should always be sent with your résumé.

If it has been a while since you've updated your resume or written a cover letter, there are many websites and books to help you further on this subject. See below.

Moving on to some of the newest and latest means of creating resumes and introducing yourself to a potential employer, let's talk some about social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. By itself, the traditional approach of job searching is no longer as fruitful as it used to be. Today's new job hunting activities are far different and according to many online resources, the best results are coming from those who have built up and combined both a personal and professional online and offline network. Then they use them with their formal resumes.

Example: When you complete your resume be sure to add links to your LinkedIn account or Facebook account. Hiring managers will look at these to see if you are who you say you are on paper. They want to see the online and offline version of you match up. And what others are saying to you or about you will give them an indication of what you are like. To those of us over 50 this may seem strange, but it is today's reality and it isn't going away. So have fun and enjoy using this new technology to your advantage!

For those who do not have blogs or accounts with social media it is still permissible to submit resumes and applications in the traditional manner. However, if you are an adventuresome soul, take the plunge and sign up with a social networking site. Help on how to do this can be found in the article, Social Networking, It's Not Just for Your Grandkids Anymore.

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