Tory Johnson of Women for Hire is one of the country's foremost career experts. She recently wrote an article for Yahoo! in which she listed 12 great ways to get your resume noticed by prospective employers:
- Find job postings on job boards such as CollegeRecruiter.com and corporate employment web sites and print out the postings of interest to you.
- Highlight the keywords and industry language used to describe the requirements and responsibilities.
- Compare those words and phrases to the language that appears in your current resume.
- Add the most relevant keywords to your resume. Remember that applicant tracking systems -- the software employers use to house and search for resumes which have been submitted to them -- will search for keyword matches so the more matches, the more likely a recruiter will actually look at your resume.
- Once your resume reflects a strong match, submit it online.
- If the system requests a cover letter, write a short one that expresses why you're a strong match and why you'd like to join the organization. Make sure it is customized to the organization and the opportunity to which you're applying.
- Never submit a generic, one-size-fits-all resume or cover letter.
- Find an internal referral to make a personal introduction using sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Note that when you apply to jobs on CollegeRecruiter.com we automatically show you the people that you may know within the organization through our partnership with LinkedIn. Also get active in industry associations to establish those connections and re-connect with your friends from school and people you know through your family and "regular" friends.
- Follow-up with a call or email to the recruiter responsible for filling the position. Make sure they received your resume but, more importantly, give them your pre-rehearsed 30 second elevator pitch.
- Get your resume into the hands of a decisionmaker. If you don't know who that is, find out by calling the company and asking the operator to put you through. If that doesn't work, do a Web search on the term "recruiter" or "HR director" along with the name of your employer of choice. The results may reveal the name you're trying to find. LinkedIn is another resource to find the correct name.
- Stay top of mind. Every recruiter is different so be prepared to work with each differently.
- If the employer doesn't tell you when to follow-up then ask, "what's the best way to keep in touch?"
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