Create a Killer Resume and Cover Letter

Unlocking Resume Secrets: What Employers Truly Seek

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Whether you’re entering the job market, seeking a promotion, or embarking on a career change, a high-quality resume is essential to distinguish yourself from the competition. Employers inundated with hundreds of resumes during recruitment, often encounter repetitive phrases and similar qualifications. To make your resume truly stand out, it’s crucial to understand what employers are specifically looking for in a new candidate. Here’s an insight into what really catches an employer’s eye.

Key Information

  • Contact Information: List your full name, phone number, email, and LinkedIn profile. This makes it easy for employers to contact you and learn more about your professional background.
  • Work Experience: Detail your previous roles, focusing on achievements and responsibilities that align with the job you’re seeking. Use action verbs and quantifiable results for more impact.
  • Educational Background: Mention your highest level of education, including the institution, degree obtained, and graduation date. If recent, include relevant courses or projects.
  • Skills: List specific skills that are relevant to the job, including both hard and soft skills. Be precise and avoid overgeneralization to stand out to the employer.
  • Certifications and Awards: Any relevant certifications or recognitions should be included, as they can set you apart from other candidates and show commitment to your field.
  • Volunteer Work: Include any relevant volunteer experiences, especially those that demonstrate skills or values aligned with the job you are applying for.
  • Professional Memberships: Membership in relevant professional organizations can show your ongoing engagement and commitment to your field.
  • Publications or Presentations: If applicable, listing any publications or presentations can showcase your expertise and communication skills.
  • Personal Projects or Interests: Briefly mentioning personal projects or interests can give a glimpse into your personality and additional skills, making your resume more memorable.
  • Language Proficiency: If you are proficient in multiple languages, include this information. Language skills can be particularly appealing in global companies or roles involving communication with diverse populations.
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Recent education

Any education you have is beneficial even if it was a long time ago, however, that dusty old college diploma or university degree might be holding less weight than you think. Chances are, having this kind of education will allow you to meet the basic entry requirements to apply for the job, but it won’t be knocking anyone’s socks off. Especially if your education was in a subject that’s unrelated to the job that you’re applying for. What can look more impressive is recent, relevant education. Things like online courses, for example, show that you’ve pursued more knowledge, and will likely have the information that employers are looking for. Best of all, these kinds of courses don’t need to cost a lot and can be done in a flexible way from home. 

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Experience

Experience is one of the most important things on your resume, but it can be difficult to get. If this is your first job or you’re looking to change career then you might struggle gaining the experience you need. One way to go about this is by doing voluntary work in the area you want to work in. It shows employers that you’re serious about this particular line of work, and can help you stand out from other candidates. 

“When you’re looking for a new job, it can be really tough to experience setbacks. Say you found the perfect job. Or what you thought was the right job for you. And you apply. And you get a no. Or you apply for ten jobs – a hundred jobs – and you get more no’s. One after the other. What do you do? Do you feel motivated and inspired to keep applying and find that dream job? Or do you feel miserable? Sure, some people will react in the latter way, but for most people, it’s the former. Because it can crush you to get a no when what you really wanted was a yes.” – 10 Things That Can Recharge Your Resume

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Relevant hobbies

Hobbies can be a great way to showcase additional, relevant skills you have to employers. For example, if you’re applying for a very team-based job then mentioning that you play a team sport could show that you really can work with others. If you’ve got a blog set up on a custom website it can show that you’re creative, know how to write for an audience, and promote across social media. Don’t just make things up, but use this as an opportunity to improve yourself. Take up a new hobby and use it to better yourself and build skills which in turn will look good on your resume

Driving

Being able to drive can improve your career prospects, even if the job you’re applying for doesn’t involve driving. This is because it gives you the flexibility to get around and get to workplaces that might be difficult to access with public transport. If the job involves things like community care (in healthcare) or sales (in retail) then being able to get from place to place will be essential. Without a car and license you might get overlooked for the position, even if everything else made you a strong candidate.

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Additional Resources

  1. Resume Magic, 4th Ed: Trade Secrets of a Professional Resume Writer (Resume Magic: Trade Secrets ...
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  3. RESUMES THAT WORK!: Templates, Samples and Resume Writing Tailored to the Job.
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    A career guide complete with resume templates and resume samples, you won’t have to settle for a job ever again! Your resume will give you the opportunity to get the career you want.
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    04/12/2024 08:46 am GMT
  4. Modernize Your Resume: Get Noticed… Get Hired (Modernize Your Career)
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  5. Knock 'em Dead Resume Templates: Plus 110 Resume Templates
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  6. Resumes For Dummies
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  7. No Mistakes Resumes: How To Write A Resume
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    Warning: Reading this book could get you a new job.

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    • Uncover the magnificence of the perfect cover letter.
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    04/12/2024 08:45 pm GMT
  8. Knock 'em Dead Resumes: How to Write a Killer Resume That Gets You Job Interviews
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    At a time when companies can draw on resume banks containing millions of documents, you'll need to create a concise and powerful resume if you want to stand out.

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    04/12/2024 08:45 pm GMT
  9. Ignite Your Career!: Strategies and Tactics to Unleash Your Potential
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    This book provides guidance to help jobseekers to avoid making common résumés mistakes and to create résumés and cover letters that get them noticed and offered interviews.

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    04/12/2024 06:06 am GMT
  10. 5 Resume Writing Books You Should Read

    Learn to write a killer resume with our top picks of 5 must-read books on resume writing. Land your dream job today!

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  11. A Top Recruiting Director's Guide to Writing the Perfect Resume for Every Job
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    An insider shows how to tailor a résumé that sets applicants apart from a sea of candidates. Recruiting director Brad Karsh has worked with thousands of misguided job seekers. Now he?s putting his experience into print, with step-by-step guidelines to improve the wording, content, and format of any résumé.

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  12. How to Write Killer Cover Letters & Resumes
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    Stand out from all the rest by crafting letters and resumes that will blow people away. This career reference guide provides a simple, compelling and foolproof way to create both cover letters and resumes that are uniquely powerful and, most importantly, virtually guarantees you the high value job interviews and career you really want.

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    04/12/2024 07:21 pm GMT
  13. Secrets from a Recruiter
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    Are you fed up with being unemployed or not having the job you deserve? This book is exactly what you’re looking for! Get great tips and best practices for the modern job seeker STRAIGHT FROM A RECRUITING INSIDER with years of experience at one of the largest professional recruiting companies in the world. 

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    04/12/2024 05:22 pm GMT
  14. A Killer Resume: The Seven Secret Steps to a Resume That Gets You Hired
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    Create "a killer professional resume" to give you the edge you need to gain access past the scrutinizing gatekeepers who screen your resume and select the candidates’ resumes that contains the language they seek. "You can create your own killer resume," right now.

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