Try These Best Practices to Refresh Your Résumé
Cherokee saw an overall growth of 17,448 jobs in 2017, and 2018 is expected to be no different. To provide a clearinghouse for jobs within the county, the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) recently has launched a new website for talent and career development to connect Cherokee’s innovative industries and residents in one place. The website provides an interactive job-search platform, a monthly spotlight on local businesses, and a series of resources to help Cherokee residents forget the commute and find their next career.
During September, take advantage of International Update Your Résumé Month by setting aside time to update your résumé, cover letter and LinkedIn profile, so you will be prepared to click “submit” later on.
The Job Description
Often overlooked, the job description is a crucial component of every résumé. Think of it this way: The company is giving you a sneak peek into what they are looking for in their next employee. Use this knowledge as your cheat sheet as you tailor your résumé to emphasize how your experience exemplifies those characteristics and responsibilities.
Did you know there are three different types of résumé formats?
Chronological: Organize your experience, beginning with current position or most recent experience and ending with the oldest position held.
Functional: This format works best for those with employment gaps; rather than organizing the information in chronological order, the résumé will be organized from most relevant experience to the least relevant.
Combination: If the job requires strong experience, but is not one of your strengths, you can use this format to showcase relevant experiences in other areas, such as volunteer work.
“During an interview, employers can ask you about information listed on your résumé, cover letter, and supporting documents that are submitted for a position. It is important that you are accurate and honest,” said Annette Sinclair, Chattahoochee Technical College career services coordinator.
To keep your experience on track and relevant, ask yourself these questions: Does the experience highlight your qualifications for the position and feature your most valuable contributions? If the answer is yes to both, list the experience on your résumé and then explain the significance in your cover letter.
“The cover letter will introduce you as a candidate, clarify the specific position for which you are applying, enable you to highlight your strengths, and ask an employer to take action. This is the closest opportunity to a conversation, so be conversational. Do not regurgitate your résumé. Research the company and the role, so you can convince them you understand who they are and why the role is important to them.
When writing your cover letter, it may be helpful to break it down into three sections.
The first paragraph introduces yourself and identifies the position you are applying for, and how you will follow up.
The second paragraph interprets your résumé, not repeats it, so the employer understands why you are a good fit for their company and the position. You can cite previous experience in more descriptive terms, but remain brief. How does your experience add value to the company, and how are you personally the best fit for them?
The third paragraph is simply a thank you, a request for action to offer an interview, and provides details on how to contact you, said Karen Mathews, director of vocation and career services at Reinhardt University.
It may be tempting to assume that, since you already updated your résumé, it’ll be ready to go by the time the annual Cherokee Career Expo rolls around next March, but it is important to update and refresh your résumé every month or so. This habit will allow you to access the best version of you at any moment – a new promotion could open at work, you may be interested in picking up a side hustle, or a colleague might nominate you for an award. It will be much easier to remember newly mastered skills and recent accomplishments by making a point to review your résumé each month rather than waiting until the very moment a copy of it is needed.
Once your résumé and cover letter are bright and sparkling from your refreshing session, you are ready to create a job profile and start searching for your next career on the Cherokee Office of Economic Development’s newly launched job search board at www.cherokeega.org/careers.
– The Cherokee Office of Economic Development, leading organization for business and film recruitment and industry retention & expansion.