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While the U.S. unemployment rate has fallen to a 50-year low at 3.6%, the competition for work can still get fierce. Applying to a job is a difficult thing, and a successful job application can be dependent on a lot of factors.
Proper preparation and research are important, but your work history and skills are of no use if you aren't able to communicate them effectively to your prospective employer.
If you're looking for more ways to improve your resume and job application, then here are some helpful tips.
Highlight Your Strengths
It may be tempting to write out a resume that includes all of the work positions and skills you've picked up along the years, but that could get long.
Remember that HR managers will be combing through hundreds, if not thousands, of applications, and may not have time to read through everything you've written.
Instead of writing out three or four pages of your work experience, limit your resume to two at the most.
Research about the skills and experience that the job opening is looking for and highlight the equivalent on your resume.
Each job will have different requirements, so you may have to tailor your application to each.
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Even the best resume may not be effective if it isn't communicated to a prospective employer properly.
When communicating your skills and assets, simple language is best. Write clearly and concisely, discussing only what is necessary for the position.
It's also important to check your grammar, and ensure that there are no typos in your application. ‘What is Proper Communication and How Can it Affect Your Potential Role With a New Employer’ by Aviation JobNet discusses why it is essential in establishing a relationship with a prospective employer, including tips on how to communicate via email or phone that could be helpful.
Keep It Simple
When writing out a resume, it may be tempting to pick the flashiest layout to ensure that your application stands out from the rest.
However, the reality is that the simplest, cleanest layout is the best way to memorably convey and highlight all the skills and experience you have. CNBC’s article on ‘An Example of the Perfect Resume According to a Harvard Career Expert, released a template of a strong resume which kept the flash to a minimum and focused on the important things.
If you don't want to come off as too wordy, simply writing out pertinent information in bullet points will be enough to get your point across.
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Use Active Language
Writing out a resume can take a lot of work, but there's also the danger of having your accomplishments fall by the wayside because of poor language choice.
Remember, in your application word choice is everything, so make sure you've carefully thought out your approach.
In order to impress your future employers, shift from passive language to more active language. Include lots of action words like "led," "guided," "accomplished," "completed," and others.
By using words that highlight what you've done, you'll be able to underline your role as a doer more quickly and effectively.
About Daisy Casio
Daisy Casio is a Passionate Operations Leader with over 16 years of work experience in various leadership roles. She has run diverse teams in multiple locations and has built teams from the ground up. She is the Founder of ChampLeaders Blog dedicated to transforming leaders to Champions. She writes about leadership, management, productivity, career tips, team engagement and many more.