When you’re actively searching for a job, you may be anxious to land a new gig, Especially if you’re unemployed, not having a job can create lots of stress – wondering how you’ll pay your rent, house payment, car payment, groceries, or even wondering where you’ll find the money to put gas in the car to get to an interview, or thinking about the cost of new interview clothes.
If you’ve ever been in a long, drawn out job search – one that lasted longer than you anticipated – you may have wondered if you should hire someone to write your resume. These ads for resume writers pop up online and can make you wonder if they’re of any help. Personally, I don’t know anyone (that I’m aware of) who has paid for such a service. However, your circumstances may be different. Maybe you work in a super-competitive industry where it’s common for people to hire someone to write their resumes. Or maybe you’ve been searching for so long that you feel desperate, discouraged, and not sure what to do next. Or, maybe you have a job, and you just want to make sure your resume is up and ready in case you find an opportunity that you might want to take a shot at.
When money is tight, you can save money on a job search. When money is non-existent, saving money is a must. Here are some tried and true techniques you can use, without hiring anyone, to make sure your resume is at its best.
This might seem like a given, but spellcheck is a great help. However, it doesn’t catch everything. It won’t tell you when “theirs” and “there’s” are chosen for the wrong occasions, or when “its” and “it’s” are used in the wrong spots, but there is a lot that spellcheck can catch. Don’t forget to use it.
Pack It With Power
This is probably the most important thing to do when you’re giving your resume a once-over. Ask yourself if your resume has power – the power to show how awesome YOU are. Does it show what sets you apart from other people? Does it show your power in numbers- the number of people you’ve managed, the dollars you’ve saved, or other relevant amounts? Does it show your other achievements – the grants you’ve snagged for the organization, the kudos you’ve received, the recognition you’ve achieved, the people you’ve mentored, the committees you’ve been on? Your resume needs to be packed with power that shows you weren’t just present at each position, but that you were great when you were there.
Print It Out & Sleep On It
When it comes to resumes, I’m old school – I like to print mine off after I give it a once-over. I guarantee you – no matter how often I spellcheck it, proofread it, look it over, change it, revise it – no matter how many times I do this, chances are, if I print it out and sleep on it, I will find something I can make better. It may be something tiny like a comma in a wrong place, or a bullet point that could get better. Or an accomplishment that could be re-worded. I would almost be willing to bet that the same will be true for you (unless you’ve revised your resume very recently). I believe the reason this technique works so well is because sleep recharges the mind, allows us to focus and solve problems subconsciously in our sleep, and lets us take a break from trying to solve the problem at hand. So, when you print out your resume, sleep on it, then come back to it with a pen in hand ready for editing, you too will probably find something that you can change and make stronger.
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