Are you unemployed in the Washington D.C. metro area? Did you take a break from job searching during the holidays? Before you ramp your job search back up, make it a goal to polish your resume for 2012. Why polish your resume? You can’t get new results when you’re doing the same thing you have always done.
You need to make some changes to increase your chances of success. Most people forget to update their resume when they do something new. Take a minute to sit back and look at where you’ve been the past year.
Volunteering is one of the best actions you can take while searching for a job. Most organizations will work around your schedule. If you volunteered in 2011, be sure you put this information on your resume. Volunteering counts just as much as paid employment.
Look at your resume overall. While the market is tight, you need to make your resume pop to the front of the line, and it may not be happening. Have a trusted, professional friend take a look at your resume and ask if they would hire you. They will also be able to spot typos or anything that does not make sense.
You do not want your resume to be too long, but take a look at the websites of your previous companies. Most contain job descriptions for many of their positions. The benefit of this particular piece of research is that many companies use the same “cookie-cutter” language in their job postings. Before you sigh heavily at the “cookie-cutter” approach, it may be “cookie-cutter” but those are the skills companies are looking for. Even though you may not be looking to be re-hired (or even if you are), the verbiage on your resume should mirror what you see in the job description – then you will be speaking their “language.”
The most important tip is to make sure your resume matches the position you’re applying to. Don’t use a salesmen resume to apply for a job as an administrative assistant. If your experience options are limited, check out job reference sites such as O’Net to find transferable skills when applying for a job outside of your current profession.
Finally don’t despair,Washington D.C. area companies will be hiring, however cautiously, during 2012. Polish up your resume, find a place to volunteer and you will soon have a sparkling new document worthy of a second look.
For additional information:
Check out O’Net Online for detailed job descriptions: O’Net Online