Your Complete Guide To Writing A Great Resume That Gets You The Job

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The most important insight into getting the job you want is to understand that today, resumes are digital and circulated on career platforms.

Now, you can be matched to many more of the right opportunities than you could ever find with the traditional paper process. So, knowing how to write a good resume and what you should include in it are more important than ever.

There are a lot of choices to make and rules to follow when it comes to writing a solid resume. A good place to start is by signing up on LinkedIn, if you haven't already.

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How to write a resume that's compelling to potential employers.

The LinkedIn Premium Career should be your first investment in your job search after you've gotten it set up. Think of it like Tinder, but for work.

This enables you to both apply for and receive job offers based on your LinkedIn profile. In this case, the page with your information can easily act as a digital resume.

LinkedIn's matching algorithm allows it to match your skills sets, experiences, and aspirations to find the best jobs that you can apply for online.

You can also see what qualifications you may need to acquire to better qualify for jobs and how to get those skills through LinkedIn Learning. So, you can both apply for jobs and jobs will come to you through their platform.

Your resume becomes part of a job search system that will provide you with access to the right opportunities that would be impossible for you to forage on your own.

LinkedIn has an "easy apply" feature, so you can immediately respond to a posted job in your LinkedIn profile without filling out more information like previous jobs, your name, address, and salary expectations.

Hiretual, a recruiting company, has a virtual job fair and is testing a new Chrome plugin that can even be more exact in matching your qualifications to posted positions.

Other platforms you can use for the same purpose are Indeed and Flexjobs. These platforms not only aggregate and alert you to jobs that match your profile, but you can easily apply right from their sites (or with links to the company site) with resume templates for each position.

You can just cut and paste from what you have already posted on your LinkedIn profile.

What to include in your resume.

Before you go out job searching, you need to know what to include on your resume and what information will get results for you.

A digital resume looks pretty much like a LinkedIn profile and contains much of the same information.

There is really no need to do anything differently than you would have on paper. Except forget the fancy graphics, typefaces, and artistry that used to be part of “getting you noticed.”

Nowadays, recruiters are contracted by companies to screen applicants before anyone in the hiring organization even sees a resume. Recruiters aren't looking at stacks of paper resumes, but their screening programs are matching keywords from your resume with the job specifications.

Software is not influenced the way people are. Most large organizations have some sort of automated filter looking at skills, experience, and degrees to qualify a person for a position.

It may be that no recruiter even looks at the resume until the person has passed through a filter of some sort.

Because there are so many applicants to known companies such as Microsoft or Amazon, recruiters are swamped with resumes. They probably ignore most of them, no matter what.

It may be good to apply using the organization's career site and application process. Each organization will have their own format for resumes, so you can adapt your resume details to each job description posted.

Keep your internet presence up-to-date.

It's also worthwhile to have a personal website, blog posts, LinkedIn, Facebook profile, or some other internet-based identity in order to appeal to potential employers and show off any work that may be related to the position you're applying for.

Many companies may look at this information when researching you before considering you for positions at work and colleges.

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Different resumes for different jobs.

An important note to follow is that you'll need different types of resumes for different jobs.

If you're applying for a marketing position, your resume details would be different than if you are applying for a sales or product-management job.

Once you have reviewed the job specifications, you can determine whether to emphasize in hard or soft skills, which educational and training experiences are most relevant, and how to refer to your title or expertise.

A data science job may focus more on hard skills like programming languages, platforms, and knowledge of various operating systems and tools, whereas a marketing SEO job may focus more on predictive analytics, project management, and team building.

Alternately, a human resources job may focus more on soft skills such as communications, collaboration, active listening, and negotiation.

Since you will be applying for jobs on platforms, be sure to cover the most important skill sets and experience tailored to the position.

For more detail on how to develop different resumes and better prepare for interviews check out Big Interview.

What is the best format to write a good resume in?

Once you understand that you have a "smart" digital resume, you can adapt the format to match the platform that's recruiting for you and conform to the job application requirements of individual companies you're applying to.

Most formats have similar sections.

These can include:

1.Your contact information
2. Job title or field you have or applying for
3. Companies and positions you have held
4. Skills sets. Be specific about what you can do: conflict resolution, project management for on time/on budget results, sales proposals that are approved.
5. Education and training (include badges, certification, or workshops)

If you can insert a summary, then be specific as to why you think you're best qualified to fill the position, and you're ready to begin. The summary shows you are ready, eager, and can “hit the ground running.”

What about cover letters?

Should you include a cover letter with your resume?

Find someone in the organization that shares your background: University alumni, someone you worked in the same company with, or someone who is a volunteer with a non-profit.

With LinkedIn, you can search for people who have listed affiliations that match your own. Then, contact them through email and request their referral.

Your cover letter will work much better for you if you have an advocate or referral from within the company that can champion you to the hiring manager.

Be concise, clear, and coherent in why you believe you're a good fit for the job, how your experience qualifies the specifications, and why you're eager to work for the company by specifically referring to something the company is doing, has accomplished, or some outstanding characteristic (such as good organization culture) that shows you've done your homework.

Include a "call to action" in your cover letter.

Be sure to ask for a "call to action" in your cover letter, such as a follow-up conversation or email exchange so you can get the interview.

Think of yourself as a solutions provider for employers who want their problems solved by people who are dependable, competent, and who will fit in their organization.

Your digital resume posted on job platforms is the door-opener to opportunity.

If you have grit to stick with it, do your research, match your skill sets and experience to job specifications, and network for referrals and recommendations by people who can open doors, then you can walk through to your next great work opportunity.

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Jeff Saperstein is a career transition coach. For more information on how he can help you land your dream job, visit his website.