Job-Hunting Advice for College Grads
Many career experts say that your resume is the “face that you present to the world” when you are applying for jobs. And it is – whether you email it out to prospective employers or walk into an interview and hand a copy to your interviewer.
But in our electronic age, your resume will work harder for you if you think of it as your personal website and apply some of these strategies . . .
Remember that You Have Only Nine Seconds to Capture Your Reader’s Attention
That’s true for websites and for your resume too. There has to be something about it that grabs and holds your reader’s attention, and that something has to appear right at the top of the page, not hidden somewhere in the middle.
The best strategy is to create an “overview” at the top of the page that quickly points out why you are special and unusual. Here are some examples . . .
- OVERVIEW: A highly motivated learner, I created my own major in nonprofit funding by combining classroom work with online learning.
- OVERVIEW: I will be a change-maker for you. At schools I have attended, I have created tutoring programs for underprivileged students, secured funding to make campus buildings handicapped-accessible, and started a program of independent study for my major.
Create Clickable “Internal Pages” for Your Readers, Just Like Websites Do
If you are emailing your resume to prospective employers, include hypertext links to real landing pages like these . . .
- To see my performance on the soccer field as the captain of the Cougars, CLICK HERE.
- To download a PDF of my research paper on Costa Rican tree frogs, visit: http://www.constanceandrews.com/treefrogs
If you do not want to set up landing pages for each of your activities, include separate pages at the back of your resume and treat them like “internal pages” that provide specialized information about your accomplishments.
Make It Easy for Your Reader to “Buy”
Websites do it by including “Buy Now” and “Add to Shopping Cart” buttons. They also have toll-free numbers, online chat features and other ways for customers to get information about products. You can apply similar strategies too, by including features like these in your resume . . .
- Include your cell phone number several times in your resume. Example: To speak with me right now, call my cell at XXX-XXX-XXXX.
- If you are emailing your resume, offer readers several chances to click and send you an immediate email.
- If you are distributing your resume on paper, include your email address two or three times on each page, not only on the top of the first page.
Optimize Your Resume Text So It Will Be Found
Website designers optimize pages by building in key terms that search engines will find. Since there is a good chance that your resume will be stored in databases at your prospective employers, be sure to identify and include key terms that will help your resume be found when people are searching for someone with your skills. Some examples . . .
- Include the names of software programs that you have mastered.
- Include a brief list of specific skills that you have mastered, like handling travel arrangements, representing organizations at trade shows, or selling.
- Mention any languages that you speak.
Those are only a few ways to create a resume that works harder for you in our digital age. You can discover even more by visiting a variety of websites and identifying features that work well.
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