Use your resumé to stand out from the crowd

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Developing a presentable, up-to-date resumé with a supporting cover letter is a must, if you are seeking employment. Depending on the size of the business and demand for the job, there may be a large crowd of prospective employees you’re competing with. The three significant areas you need to communicate with a potential employer are your cover letter, resumé and references. So how do you stand out from the crowd? Read these tips below to help make your resumé shine.

There are step-by-step programs available to help you develop a resumé. The Internet and programs that come with your computer are both great resources. Keep in mind that you can book an appointment with one of the employment counsellors at Kootenay Employment Services (KES) who will assist you in developing a resumé that will stand out in the crowd.

The first step is to develop a separate cover letter for each business. You are competing for a position in their company and must prove to them why you are the best candidate. A cover letter lets you explain, in sentence structure, why and how you are the best suited for the job. The sequence of your cover letter should look something like this: your contact information, the company’s contact information, opening sentence, first paragraph explaining what you plan to bring to their organization, second paragraph linking your past experience and how it relates to this new job, third paragraph thanking the employer for their time, a closing line, and your typed name and original signature.

When writing your resumé, try to keep everything on one or two pages. If you have a ton of information that adds up to multiple pages, cut it down to be efficient and only mention previous experience that is relevant to the current job you’re applying for. The first item on your page should be your contact information. Make your name bold. This is your identity and making it prominent will help an employer easily remember it. Try to keep the rest of the font size on the page consistent. Include the following in your resumé: your objective, your skills and previous accomplishments that make you an asset, your previous employment, job descriptions and duties you carried out, any education and certifications you’ve attained, and your references.

The biggest tip to writing a resumé is focus on your presentation. Once you have all of your information on the paper and organized in a flowing structure, make it look good. Put the extra time and effort into making your resumé stand out. You can do this by italicizing, bolding or underlining headings, put borders and sections dividing one set of information from the other or by using bullets to get your point across quickly and efficiently. Just be sure to spend some extra care on your resumé, because it is the main tool that can get you an interview.

One other important item to include on the end of your resumé are your references. These are people who are agreeing to be contacted by your prospective employer to give a description of the type of person you are. Family members may be good references but try to stick with people at arm’s length from you. A great example of a reference would be a previous boss you left on a good note with, who saw your everyday performances and can explain the type of worker you are from an employer’s perspective. Other good candidates for your references could be family friends who have known you for a long period of time. This keeps the relationship issue out of the picture; at the same time, a family friend will know you very well as a person. You should have at least two or three references, either listed on the bottom of your resumé with contact information or at hand with a line stating “references available upon request.”

These tips should help you get a good idea of proper presentation. If you have questions, call KES at 250-428-5655 or stop by the office for help attaining your employment goals.

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