Resume - Many employers are now scanning resumes, so formatting your resume for optimal scanning and incorporating appropriate keywords are important.
- Use standard fonts (Times New Roman, Arial, Garamond, or Helvetica) and 11 to 12 type size.
- Put 3/4" to 1" white space around and white space between categories.
- Two pages max, and don't staple or clip. Also put your name and page number on page two.
- Use white or cream paper.
- Spell out degrees followed by acronym. Example: Bachelor of Science (BA), Education...
- If you are using Office 2007, save your Word doc as RTF.
- Don't include objective statement: It tends to select you OUT or sound phony. Instead, include your career summary or profile statement.
- If your job title doesn't clearly indicate what your job was, add a brief statement describing your scope of responsibility.
- Frame your list of accomplishments as problems/challenges that you resolved, along with results and benefits. Quantify them if possible.
- Customize your resume so that keywords from the job listing are incorporated.
- Also research action words and buzzwords in your target industry and incorporate them into your career summary/profile and accomplishments.
- Don't include reference or say "references available upon request": Use your limited resume space for the main purpose - highlight your credential. You can provide your reference when asked.
Cover letter - You have to have a cover letter. Cover letter isn't just a formal introduction; it should make them want to look at your resume.
- Use the same letter head format as your resume to be consistent.
- List job requirements and corresponding your qualification.
- Never tell what your salary requirements are at this stage. Instead, say your requirements are flexible based on the nature and scope of this job - which you'd like to further discuss.
Submission - They get thousands of resumes per job posting. Try to improve your odds of being selected in the "yes" pile.
- Try to identify the name of hiring manager and send your resume directly to him/her.
- If direct contact information cannot be located, submit your resume from company website as opposed to job boards: They look at resumes that came through their website first. They may not even look at resumes from other sources if they don't need additional candidates.
- Submit your resume a few days after the job was posted: The first wave of resumes tend to be reviewed with higher expectation - you have a better odds being put in the "yes" pile if you submit your application in the second wave.
Follow up - A follow up from you can sometimes prompt them to dig up your resume, giving another opportunity for it to be reviewed. You have nothing to lose, so follow up.
- Give at least two weeks before following up.
- Try to identify the hiring manager's contact information and follow up directly with him/her.
They seem not much, but they can still improve your odds of getting an interview. So why not, right?