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How to Make Your Resume More Relevant

ResumeWhen it comes to resume writing in the 21st century, one size does not fit all. Long gone are the days when you could type up a general resume, have 100 copies printed on premium stationery paper and then mail it in a matching envelope to prospective employers. Now, not only are most resumes submitted electronically, but employers expect their content to be customized to the needs of the position that needs to be filled.

Here are some tips on writing an effective resume in the 21st century:

1. Know Your Audience. Never send out a blind resume. Target every employer you approach. Chances are, your employer will have a website. Study that website carefully so you can speak directly to the company’s needs in its own language.

2. “Parrot” the Job Listing. If you’re sending your resume in response to a specific job listing, “parrot” back that listing’s keywords to demonstrate how well you fit the company’s needs. For example, if the employer is asking for someone who knows Intuit QuickBooks Pro 2011, and you actually know Intuit QuickBooks Pro 2011, then be sure to list “Intuit QuckBooks Pro 2011” among your skill sets. Don’t just say, “Can handle popular accounting software.”

3. Revise Previous Job Descriptions to Best Reflect the Employer’s Current Needs. If you have held any previous jobs, “massage” the description of your previous duties to bring them as close as possible to the new job being advertised. For example, if the open position includes managerial responsibilities, try to emphasize any managerial, decision-making and/or financial management aspects of your current or previous position(s).

4. Include Relevant Training and/or Certification. If you’re applying for a job in which you’ve had any special training or certification, be sure to include this prominently. At the same time, eliminate any special training, certification or experience you may have had in areas that are not relevant to the position at hand. (For example, if you’re applying for a dental assistant job, the employer is not likely to care if you have SCUBA certification — something that would be relevant for the position of marine biologist.)

5. Include College Courses Relevant to the Position You Seek. Even if you did not get your degree in the field in question, you may have taken some high school or, better yet, college courses that are relevant to the position you’re seeking. If so, list them. Show you have some academic background in this field and are thus a candidate worth considering.

6. Include Any Relevant Outside Activities. Any hobbies, volunteer work or other outside activities that are specifically relevant to the open position should be included in your resume. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing position and have built and managed your own website, that is something a potential employer may find interesting.

Today, every resume you submit needs to be custom-tailored to the employer to whom it’s targeted. Yes, this takes time. It takes effort. And it can even be a hassle. But this kind of dedication, focus and commitment is exactly the qualities employers look for in a job candidate, and your resume is your first opportunity for employers to see these qualities in you.

Career Services Offered by Everest University Online

Resume guidance is just one of the many support services offered by the Career Services representatives of Everest University Online, a division of Everest University. Available to graduates of Everest University, Career Services helps students prepare for their transition to the working world by helping them create winning resumes, practice effective interviewing techniques, choose a proper professional wardrobe and, most important of all, identify and contact employers in their area.

Everest University Online offers a variety of associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in the fields of Accounting, Business, Computer Information Science, Criminal Justice, Criminal Investigations, Homeland Security and Paralegal.

For more information on programs, schedules, accreditation and costs, contact Everest University Online today! Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

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