Tips on Getting Your Resume to The Top of the Pile

For so many jobs these days, there are often hundreds of applicants who send in their resumes along with yours.  So how do you get your resume to the top of the pile so you can get that job interview?  This page offers some tips on ways to get your foot in the door in today's hyper-competitive job market.

Use networking.  There are some people who, when they want a new job, start calling their friends and former co-workers looking for job openings.  They don't even bother to post their resumes online at job websites or respond to classified ads at all.  They just call their friends.  Networking is the best way to find the better jobs since it is a well-known fact in the human resource world,that the best jobs often go unadvertised.  But even if the job is advertised, you have a much better chance of getting the job interview and the job if a friend who already works at the company recommends you.  So start contacting your friends, former co-workers and relatives to find hidden jobs.

Post your resume online.  Although networking is the better way to find a new job, you should still post your resume at all of the big websites so that companies looking for new hires can find you.  Just make sure that your resume is properly keyworded so that they can find you.  Even if you have to include a keyword section at the bottom of your resume so it can be found, do it.  If your resume doesn't contain specific keywords an employer uses when she conducts a search, then your resume might be number 158 in a pile of 200.  She will likely stop reading resumes at number 50.  The more keywords a resume has on it, the more likely it will be one of the first in a search queue.

Write a winning resume.  Many people use the same tired, old phrases found on many resumes, such as "excellent team player" and "multi-tasker".  Employers don't want to read these same old phrases that just about every one puts on their resumes.  Employers want to know how you benefited your previous employer, such as "increased sales 500%" or "top sales person in 2013" or "saved Acme $25,000 a year by updating the database system" because this tells them what you can do for THEM.  Tell an employer what you can do for them and you are much more likely to get the job interview.  And don't lie on your resume by claiming you did things that you really didn't do.

Tailor your resume and cover letter to fit specific jobs.  When responding to job classified ads, tweak your resume so that the summary section fits the job skills outlined in the classified ad.  Also, write a cover letter that shows you have the skills and/or experience discussed in the classified ad so that you can get your resume past the first screener (who is often a low-level clerk or secretary).  Sample cover letters showing you how to do this are at this website.  This doesn't take a lot of time with today's technology and it will definitely increase the number or job interviews you get.

Too many people don't take the extra care it takes to get their resumes up front.  But it doesn't take a lot of time to prepare better resumes and cover letters, particularly once you get used to tweaking each resume and cover letter to fit specific jobs.  It will greatly increase the number of job interviews you get. 

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