The Truth About Jobs: Resumés In Today's Economy

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Out of the 92,000 people that visit Workforce Centers across South Central Kansas each year, most of them come for one-on-one resumé reviews.

"To know that you're one of the thousands that have sent out resumés, yeah, your hopes become diminished because you do know the chances," said Rhonda Custard, unemployed since October 2010.

Rhonda earned a master's degree and relocated to Kansas for family reasons. For the past 13 months, she sent out dozens of resumés but has been deemed both overqualified and underqualified for positions. Now, she's trying to rework her resumé to go back to school.

"When you're in that job market and job search mode, so to speak, that is your job. You really want to give it the best that you've got," said Gary Brown, Workforce Alliance Center coach.

Brown said it is important to spend time tailoring an error-free resumé for a specific job, rather than sending out dozens of generic resumés.

"Every time you send out a resumé, you may need to go in and change a little bit on it. Know exactly the position you're applying for where you can focus that. We call that targeting the resume," said Brown.

Experts had a few pointers to make a resumé stand out.

Employers prefer professional email address with your name in it, not what you like to do off-hours.

"The old adage used to be 'I am who I am, and they need to take me as I am.' At one point in time, that may have been okay, but in the job market the way it is right now, that's not a good attitude to have," said Brown.

Employers have seconds to skim through a resumé. Any errors both in spelling and grammar may keep a candidate out of the running.

Experts recommend showing and quantifying results.

"If there are accomplishments, 'I improved a process,' 'Something that I recommended was adopted,' something that says these people show initiative, they really go above and beyond, is something that's very strong," said Jill Pletcher, Career Services director at Wichita State University.

Experts said people should go off-line and back to simple networking to find opportunities in this job market.

"I think there are employers who hire less frequently, that would be willing to hire someone, but really don't want to put an ad out there right now. So, they may go more with their networks," said Pletcher.

For those like Rhonda who are still looking for a job, experts had this last word of advice.

"Do your research and be prepared. Those are the two biggest things that I think can help any job seeker," said Brown.

For more help on your resumé, click here.

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