Now that the warmth of summer is officially upon us, many recent graduates are looking to heat up their resume along with the grill. But it isn’t just former students that are itching to enter the job market: countless professionals are striving to move up the corporate ladder.
Unfortunately, getting in touch with a job has become harder than ever. Hundreds of individuals are struggling to hear back amidst the waves of job postings on a variety of job hunting sites. According to Fast Company, the average recruiter will comb through more than 250 submissions for every job opening. This means that they can only spend about six seconds on each one before deciding which applicant is worth their time.
It’s no wonder that only one in every eight candidates was able to get an interview back in 2017. When you only have six seconds to make an impression, you’re bound to apply for countless jobs before finding the best one.
But this job hunt becomes even more stressful — and urgent — if you’re coping with the strain of a toxic work environment. After all, high levels of stress are linked to heart attacks, depression, and worse. While healthy coping mechanisms and creating a better work-life balance is vital for every job, sometimes, the only way to escape toxicity is to change jobs.
When you’re ready to heat up your resume, try these simple tips to make a statement.
Expand your skillset
Did you know that the average American will spend more than eight hours each day in front of a screen? Why not use some of that time to take an online course?
There are countless online classes, programs, and courses to invest in this summer. Not only does this prove to potential employers that you’re a lifelong learner, but you may also get experience in a topic that your employer finds valuable. For example, an IT specialist will look much more desirable after taking a class in creative writing or finances. Additionally, any employee could brush up on their marketing skills and learn a thing or two about SEO. A well-rounded candidate will help you stand out from the crowd.
But developing skills embody more than just attending classes. You can also put down whether you’ve developed your soft skills. This includes attending seminars and conferences based on improving leadership or even public speaking. It’s estimated that three in four individuals will suffer from speech anxiety, but showcasing that you’re actively working on your flaws will demonstrate courage and ambition to a potential employer.
Feature volunteer work
Now, more than ever, employers are looking for candidates who make an impact in their local community. This is primarily because it shows that you’re actively developing soft skills that you may not get in a corporate environment. Working at a local homeless shelter or a food drive will help improve the world, nurture new skills, and develop leadership skills that any employer will find valuable.
This is a great option for recent graduates who don’t have much experience on the job. While high school and college do a great job of informing a student about a variety of subjects, they’re not necessarily the best locations to develop these soft skills that employers are looking for. When a younger person goes above and beyond the call of duty and invests time in leadership and team-building activities, this is a good indicator of a strong worker.
On the other side of the coin, experienced professionals can also benefit from engaging in community activities. Working for a volunteer organization that is in line with your current field of work proves that you have a passion for the job. Additionally, working with a variety of people shows that you’re a team player and effective communicator, skills that are highly desired in the workplace.
Try looking for volunteer opportunities at your local community center or church for more opportunities. You can typically find a range of activities in these locations, including working with the elderly or running fundraising events for victims of home burglaries. It’s estimated that a home break-in occurs every 13 seconds in the United States. Why not use some of your spare time to engage in volunteer work and boost your resume?
Tweak your resume for the job you want
While no one wants to have gaps in their resume, highlighting relevant work experience will help you stand out from the crowd. For example, a marketing company won’t care about your time as a retail cashier as much as they’ll care about that SEO conference you went to a few months ago. When you’re setting up your resume, be sure to highlight educational experience, relevant job experience, and awards or achievement you’ve gotten in the past that pertains to this line of work.
To get a better idea of what your potential employer is looking for, research the company and compare its listings to similar job postings. This can give you a better idea of what they want in a candidate and if you have the experience needed to excel in the field. Highlight important keywords in your resume that would cause a hiring manager to look twice.
Land the interview!
When you finally land an interview, be sure to put your best foot forward. While this isn’t a part of improving your resume, it’s worth noting when you want to seal the deal. Be sure to stand with your shoulders back, your chin up, and a smile on your face. After all, more than 99% of people believe a healthy smile is socially important. Exuding this sense of confidence might be hard as an introvert, but with your strong resume in hand, you can rest assured that you’re the candidate this job is looking for.